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Olympic Boxing Firsts, U.S. Women Outmedal Men

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Women win their first gold medals in boxing at the Olympics, the second Saudi Arabian woman debuts and eyes are on Caster Semenya as she prepares to compete in the 800-meter final.

Subhead: 
Women win their first gold medals in boxing at the Olympics, the second Saudi Arabian woman debuts and eyes are on Caster Semenya as she prepares to compete in the 800-meter final.



(WOMENSENEWS)—As the 2012 London Olympics enter its final days, women continue to make headlines.

The first ever women’s boxing competition at an Olympic Games wrapped up, with women in three weight divisions bringing home historic gold medals.
 
Saudi Arabia’s second female athlete competed, and so far U.S. women have won more gold medals than men.
 
Meanwhile NBC ignited somewhat of an Internet controversy by creating a video called “Bodies in Motion,” which reportedly included some shots of female Olympian’s body parts in slow motion. And the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog noted the heat that some women are taking heat for their looks.
 
Check out all the top stories from the Olympics this week:
 
WaPo Columnist: U.S. Women’s Soccer Team ‘Drama Queens’
 
An Aug. 10 headline on the Washington Post’s front page read, “Drama queens earn their crown” after the U.S. women’s soccer team won gold. The lede read: “The U.S. women’s soccer team members are not only fabulous drama queens, they also are a lusty singing group judging by the way they fairly shouted the national anthem that has become their personal soundtrack. These stagey, showy glory-seekers finally got what they wanted: their own place on one of the largest stages in the history of their sport.”
 
 
WaPo: First Gold Medals Taken Home in Women’s Boxing
 
In the first Olympics to include women’s boxing, Katie Taylor of Ireland won in the lightweight division; Claressa Shields of the U.S. won middleweight; and Britain’s Nicola Adams won flyweight, reported the Washington Post. Shields' win scored the U.S. its first gold medal in boxing since 2004.
 
Huffington Post: U.S. Women Win Soccer Gold
 
The U.S. women’s soccer team won the gold medal in a match against Japan on Aug. 9, a vindication for losing against Japan in the 2011 World Cup final, reported the Huffington Post Aug. 10. It's the U.S. team's third consecutive Olympics' gold.
 
AP: U.S. Women Outmedal Male Counterparts
 
Women have won 26 of the United States’ 39 gold medals as of early Aug. 10, reported the Associated Press, as well as 51 of the 90 medals won overall. Those totals don’t count upcoming final events such as track relays, basketball and volleyball, where the U.S. also typically does well. Shields, just 17 years old, won the U.S.’ first Olympic gold medal in boxing since 2004. There are 269 women and 261 men competing for the U.S. this year.
 
Jezebel: Video Shows Female Olympian’s Body Parts in Slow Motion
 
A video produced by NBC called “Bodies in Motion” reportedly included a number of close-up shots of women’s body parts in slow motion with questionable music accompanying them, reported Jezebel Aug. 9. The linked video is not currently working however, and the New York Daily News is looking into whether the video was taken down.
 
NYT: Female Olympians Targeted for Looks
 
Some female Olympians have been derided for their looks this year, reported the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog Aug. 8. U.S. hurdler Lolo Jones was called out for playing up her sex appeal for endorsements and American Gabby Douglas, who won the women’s gymnastics all around, was criticized on Twitter for her hair. She subsequently failed to medal in the individual events, leading some to speculate that she was distracted by the negative comments.
 
BBC: Caster Semenya First in Women’s 800 Semifinals
 
Caster Semenya of South Africa won her 800-meter semifinal match and will compete in the final on Aug. 11, reported the BBC Aug. 9. It is Semenya’s first Olympics. She is being watched on the international stage because of a controversy surrounding her gender right before she competed for a 2009 world title, which she won.
 
USA Today: First Saudi Woman in Track and Field Competes
 
Saudi Arabia’s Sarah Attar competed in the first round of the 800-meter on Aug. 8, reported USA Today. She is the second woman to represent Saudi Arabia, along with Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani who competed in judo last week. While Attar came in last place and failed to qualify for the semifinals, she received a standing ovation as she crossed the finish line.
 
NYT: Linda Greenhouse Links High Court to Olympics
With an eye on U.S. women's strong showing at the Olympics, Linda Greenhouse writes in the New York Times about the Supreme Court's contribution. She also offers a cautionary note for the future.
 
Read "Olympics Women Are Winning All Kinds of Notice"  and U.S. Wins Firsts, Middle East Olympians Stay Upbeat for last week's coverage of women at the Olympic Games.
 
 
Photo Credit: by IRGlover/Ian Glover on Flickr under CC 2.0. Women's boxing at 2012 London Olympics
 
 
Samantha Kimmey is a writer in Brooklyn, N.Y. covering women and politics this election season.