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Word Count: 1,251
For thousands of years women have struggled to take part in athletics They have fought many battles to overcome this struggle and are just now starting to break through the walls that stood in their way before When the Olympic Games were held in ancient Greece in 776 BC women were forbidden to take part in the competition In fact if a women was caught watching the games she was condemned and thrown to her death from the top of Mount Typaion in Olympia Because of this women tried to organize their own athletic events but without much luck This soon ended womens competition for two thousand years In 1919 Ethelda Bleibtrey was arrested in New York for taking off her clothes before going for a swim This was her way of calling attention to the need to challenge the bathing suites women were required to wear-bloomers and a dress which not only prevented women from swimming but kept alive the myth that they were too weak and would drown if they tried She later went on to win Americas first gold metal in freestyle swimming These are just a couple of examples of how women had to struggle to take part in sports Women were not only kept down in sports they were made to stay in the safety of the home Gradually there were changes At first women were allowed to play archery and croquet Archery was considered a properly refined sport for ladylike athletes of the middle and upper classes The bicycle was invented and cycling became a very popular sport The long dresses of the day made it difficult and dangerous for women to ride but this could not keep them from riding By the 1920s women were playing a variety of sports such as golf tennis and basketball However female athletes were the exception rather than the rule and there were many games they were not allowed to play
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