As we say goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013, I can’t help but reflect on the phenomenal season female athletes have had. The 40th anniversary of Title IX yielded a memorable year in Women’s Sports, especially in the 2012 XXX Olympiad.
Here are our top Women’s Sports Moments of 2012:
Gabby Douglas amazed the world with her poise and grace. At the tender age of 16, Douglas put together outstanding performances at the London Olympics and became the first American Woman to claim gold in the team & individual all-around competitions. Douglas also became the first African-American to capture gold in the all-around title.
Serena Williams returned to dominance – The 31 year-old Williams orchestrated an amazing 2012 season that saw her win seven titles, including Wimbledon (singles & doubles), the Olympics (singles & doubles), the US Open and the end of season TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships – Istanbul. Williams put together one of the greatest seven months in the history of Women’s tennis from April to October 2012, winning two Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold and 48 of 50 matches. Forget the seeding (#3), she was truly the #1 player on the tour last year.
Allyson Felix was one of the top performers at London 2012 Olympics, Felix won three gold medals ~ 200m, 4×100 (Team USA set a World & American record 40.82) and 4×400 (the fifth straight for Team USA). With her golden-trifecta performance , Felix joined legendary Wilma Rudolph (1960) and Florence Griffith-Joyner (1988) as the only track stars to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games.
Teen sensation Missy Franklin set two world records en route to winning five Olympic Medals (4 Gold, 1 Bronze). At the 2012 Olympic Games Franklin won gold in the 400m medley relay (setting a world record in the process). She took gold in both the 100m back (with a best time of 58.33) and the 200m back, setting another world record of 2:04.06. Franklin also took gold in the 800m free relay and bronze in the 400m free relay as well.
Alex Morgan scored on an extra-time header in the 123rd minute as the United States defeated Canada 4-3 and advanced to the gold medal match, the fifth consecutive time for Team USA. It was the latest goal ever scored in a FIFA competition.
Morgan had an extraordinary year and proved to be an indispensable part of the U.S. Team at the 2012 Olympic Games where she scored the winning goal in the semifinal match against Canada in the third and final minute of extra time at the end of the second overtime period, sending the United States to the gold medal match against Japan. In the final, a 2-1 win against Japan, Morgan assisted on a Carli Lloyd header for the first U.S. goal. Morgan scored three goals and had four assists in her first Olympic Games, also scoring twice against France.
Paralympic Swimmer Jessica Long competed in her third straight Paralympic Games, this time the 20 year old from Baltimore, Maryland earned seven medal in total – 5 Gold, 2 Silvers. Long was named the 2012 U.S. Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and she also won an ESPY for Female Athlete with a Disability.
Women’s Basketball – This is a two-parter: The Women’s National Team won a record setting 5th consecutive Olympic gold, their 41st straight Olympic victory.
In WNBA action, Tamika Catchings and the Indiana Fever captured their first WNBA Championship. Catchings, an eleven-year WNBA veteran, finally won that elusive championship and in the process earned the Finals MVP award after averaging 24.8 points in the best-of-five series.
Lindsey Vonn ~ in January 2012, Vonn overtook Renate Götschl to become the third most successful female World Cup racer in terms of victories. On February 4, 2012, Vonn achieved her fiftieth World Cup victory on the Kandahar downhill course at Garmisch, Germany. The win also gave her 25 career downhill victories, surpassing Götschl for second most career DH wins. With a podium finish in Russia on February 18, 2012 Vonn clinched the season title in downhill, her fifth consecutive in that discipline.
BOXING: For the first time ever, Women’s Boxing was an Olympic sport. Nicola Adams (GBR) made history as the first Woman to win an Olympic gold and Clarissa Shields (USA) became the first American Woman to win gold (Middleweight).
Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh took home their third straight Olympic gold medal leaving no doubt they are the queens of beach volleyball. The victory also saw the end of May-Treanor/Walsh as teammates as Misty announced her retirement from the sport.
Track & Field Female Sprinters: Team USA Women put their mark on the XXX Olympiad. Leading the way was Allyson Felix. Felix, along with her teammates Sanya Richards-Ross and Carmelita Jeter left their mark on the Summer Olympic Games.
After a disappointing third place finish at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (Ross was the favorite to win), Richards-Ross took home her first individual gold and became only the second U.S. woman to win the 400m at the Olympic Games.
Carmelita Jeter anchored the World Record setting 4×100 relay team (40.82). That gave Jeter a full set of medals (she also won silver in the 100m and bronze in the 200m events).
The U.S. women’s water polo team defeated Spain, 8-5, to capture its first Olympic gold medal since Women’s water polo made its Olympic debut in 2000. It was Team USA’s third time playing for a gold medal after winning silver in 2000 and 2008 and bronze in 2004.
Kayla Harrison captured the first-ever, male or female, to win an Olympic Gold medal for the U.S. in Judo.
Kim Rhode became the first American ever to win Olympic medals in five consecutive Olympic Games in an individual sport (Shooting).
What will 2013 bring us in Women’s Sports? We can’t wait to see….
A Special thank you to all the phenomenal female athletes who made 2012 a very special year in Women’s Sports…Shine On!!!!