Go Ladies!

Go Ladies!

Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Judy Bluhm

Go Ladies! We are applauding the women of sports, who bring running, dunking, kicking, scoring, and winning to new levels. It has been a pivotal couple of years for female athletes, maybe a tipping point defined by the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The world is watching, as tickets sales doubled this year for the women’s Final Four compared to the men’s tournament. Over eighteen million viewers watched the women’s match between UConn and Iowa!

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes has become the NCAA Division all-time leading scorer (in men’s and women’s college basketball) and we are thrilled. Viewership is breaking records. And it’s about time. While it may have been Clark’s “era of greatness,” it was South Carolina’s season to win. So much talent and much deserved recognition to go with it.

It’s not just basketball. It’s soccer too. A renewed and refreshed United States women’s team is gearing up for the Olympics and are bringing along a few more million fans to appreciate the art of kicking, blocking, running, and making goals seem easy. The new generation of young players will be on full display to reclaim their position as the world’s most dominant female football team after their disappointing 2023.

Perhaps the most amazing female athlete to come to our attention recently is ultrarunner Jasmin Paris. She became the first woman to ever finish the infamous 100-mile plus Barkley Marathon. In just under the limit of sixty hours. Yep, 100 miles in Tennessee, with a climb of 63,000 feet (and descent), making it like climbing Mt. Everest. Twice. Since the race began in 1986, only 20 people out of over 1000 runners have finished.

The Barkley Marathon is one weird race. It is limited to 40 participants, who must write an essay on why they should be allowed to compete. If accepted, “lucky” runners receive a “letter of condolence.” The Barkley is considered the most grueling ultramarathon in the world. With five 20-mile treacherous loops, the race starts anytime between midnight and noon, with an hour notice by the sound of a blowing conch. The race begins officially when the director lights a cigarette. Several books are placed along the routes and runners must tear a page out of the book that corresponds with their race number as proof of “making it.”

No woman has ever been able to finish this race. And then came Jasmin Parish. She brilliantly said after the epic finish, “Being a woman was never a barrier.” And just like that, we are witnessing women doing things, going places, breaking records and making headlines that are causing a massive boom for the popularity of women in sports.

For the first time in history, women’s elite sports will generate one billion in revenues in 2024. This is a 300 percent increase from 2021. Crowds show up. Little girls are seeing young female athletes’ triumph in sports and get rewarded for their achievements. The 2024 Paris Olympic Games will make history as the first time having full gender equality, with a total of 5,250 women competing out of 10,500 athletes. And we, the fans, are here for it.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or visit www.aroundthebluhmintown.com.

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