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Woman Athletes: Changing the Game in Tokyo Olympics

The Olympic Games were founded in the year 1894 to celebrate the masculinity of the male athletes. Women were not considered much to be a part of these events and were excluded from the tracks and field events. Initially, as struggle began between the Women’s Sport Federation and International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Between 1922 to 1934, women’s Olympiad was organised to showcase and strengthen the voice.  Although during the 20th century situation remained the same yet it started to gradually take a U-turn. To combat the effects of gender, the Olympic Charter has made the participation of women mandatory in every sport since 2007. In 2014, the European Commission defended equality in sports and International Olympic Committee (IOC) added gender parity to the 2020 Olympics agenda. 

The summer Olympics 2020, also known as Tokyo 2020 is an international multi-sport event to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan which began on 21st July 2021. As the result of COVID-19, this was originally scheduled in from 24 July to 9 August 2020. Despite being held this year, the Tokyo 2020 as the name will remain the same. As these events will finish, summer Paralympics will be held from 24th August and 5 September 2021. 

Sports since the beginning has been considered a powerful platform for promoting gender equality and empowering women. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has taken and implemented various initiatives so that women and girls from across the globe are given a better and greater platform to take part in sports. 

The Tokyo Olympics 2021 started on 23th July 2021 after being postponed since last year. This year Olympics are being regarded as the first gender balanced Games in the history of Olympics with equal participation of both women and men. Female sportswomen are finally making a mark for themselves in a domain which was considered to be all male. While the world fought against gender inequality, India struggled with their own as well. Yet, the times have changed and Indian women have been creating their own history and broken all the barriers to make a mark on the global platform. From PT Usha to Karnam Malleswari, a Sania Mirza to a Geeta Phogat or a Sakshi Malik or a Saina Nehwal to a PV Sindhu or Mary Kom, all these women have become a role model for women and girls across the world. 

India has won major games this year with Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari becoming the first Indian woman to win an individual medal at the Olympics in 2000 and Mirabai Chanu who won silver and Lovlina Borgohain who has at least scored bronze. On the other hand, PV Sindhu became the first Indian women athlete to win two individual Olympic medals after she won bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She won her silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The Indian women hockey team has created history by entering the semi finales for the first time beating Australia by 1-0. 

A journey that was started with 2 Indian female athletes at the Quadrennial Games in 1924 expanded to 54 at the Rio Olympics. The Rio Olympics almost saw equal participation from the country with only 9 male members more than female. This year India is not only expected to across the target of Rio Olympics but also more medals will be coming from the women, as the best female medal contenders are participating in Tokyo. The journey for them has just begun, so it time for READY.STEADY.SPORTS!