Let’s hear it for the girls

Published 10:57 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The flame has been extinguished and the Olympic flag transferred to Rio de Janeiro, signaling the end of the 30th Olympiad in London.
In addition to Michael Phelps and the U.S. men’s basketball team, the London Games will be remembered for the women outshining the men on the podium.
For the first time in history, the United States sent more women than men to the international competition.
By the time the last medals had been awarded, U.S. women collected 58 of the 103 total U.S. medals. Had they competed as an independent country, they would have finished fourth in the medal count behind China, Russia and Great Britain. They also outpaced the U.S. male Olympians in total medals, 58-45.
And those weren’t all bronze medals, either. Their 29 gold medals tied host Great Britain for second behind China’s 38 gold medals. The U.S. men? They came home with 17 gold medals.
From start to finish, the U.S. women provided some of the most unforgettable moments on the world stage.
For the first time since 1996, the women’s gymnastic team captured the team gold medal. Gabby Douglas followed that with gold in the individual all-around competition, and Aly Raisman turned in a gold-medal performance in the floor exercise.
Missy Franklin set two world records in swimming, leading the way for dominant performances from teammates Allison Schmitt, Dana Vollmer and Rebecca Soni.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won a third-straight gold medal in beach volleyball, defeating Americans Jen Kessy and April Ross in the finals.
Fleet of foot, Allyson Felix and Sonya Richards-Ross combined for five gold medals on the track. The U.S. women’s team also won the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
Women’s basketball, soccer and water polo were golden for the U.S. as well.
While many are quick to attribute their success to Title IX, the 1972 amendment to end sexual discrimination in education, these women have come of age knowing that they can compete on an equal footing with men.
For that, we applaud their success. Their place on the podium was hard-fought and well deserved.