8 Women for the 8 March: Athletes who made Herstory

8 Women for the 8 March: Athletes who made Herstory

To celebrate International Women’s Day, in HSN we want to go through some of the most important female athletes throughout herstory. We admire them because they have overcome all the obstacles and eventually succeeded.

Female athlete

What is the 8 March?

This date has been reserved to celebrate International Women’s Day. According to the UN, this day focuses on the rights of women and gender equality.

Millions of people all over the world gather on this day under the motto “I Am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights“.

The objective? Take action and achieve true equality, something that women from all countries demand and deserve.


It was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1975 and this date is celebrated in almost every corner of the world.

Its real origin goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. Specifically in 1908, New York, where a group of 15 000 women gathered to claim a better salary, less working hours and the right to vote, which was forbidden at the time just because of their sex.

Two years later, during the International Congress of Working Women celebrated in Denmark, Clara Zetkin proposed a day to vindicate women’s rights, which happened a year later on a 19th of March.

Then, why do we celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March?

The date was not voted, it naturally sprung from the reunions and movements that were striving for peace after the 1st World War. At that moment, Russian women started to gather the last Sunday of February to protest against the war and supporting women’s rights. Those gatherings took place on the 8th of March in the rest of Europe.

After founding the United Nations in 1945 , that date was used to recognize the role of women and their rights.

Athlete sunset

Women and Sport

According to the information from recent years, the presence of female athletes has grown exponentially.

The Women and Sport report (Nielsen, 2016) states that currently almost a 50% of women in the world are interested in sports.

The researchers claim that said interest comes from the 80s onward, when women started to become interested in sports because they played it at school.  In fact, women who participated in sport activities have a 76% more chances of still being interested in sports for the rest of their lives.

But, what are the most popular sports among women? If we check the previous report, it seems that women prefer running and cycling.

Nevertheless, women have always been present in the world of sports.

Female runner

Milestones in Women’s Sports

To recognize the role of women in society and sport, supporting equality in every single aspect of our lives, in HSN we want to review some of the biggest milestones of women’s sports.

Do you know Katherine Switzer, Charlotte Cooper or Jutta Kleinschmidt? Then, keep reading!

  • Katherine Switzer

    She was the first woman to run a marathon in 1967, Boston (USA). At that time, this type of races were only available for men, since they considered that women would not be able to run 42 kilometers.

    Despite being officially registered, other runners and the organization’s staff tried to stop her from running the race, which she completed in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

  • Charlotte Cooper

    A few decades before, Charlotte Cooper became the first woman to win an Olympic medal. The British tennis player won the prize in 1900, in the Olympic Games from Paris.

    The fact that these were the first Olympic Games where women were able to participate was a step towards equality. Nevertheless, Cooper had already won three individual Wimbledon tournaments.

  • Larissa Latynina

    This woman holds 18 Olympic prizes, 9 of them are gold medals in Gymnastics.

    That is why the International Olympic Committee gave her the silver Olympic order, apart from including her in the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1998.

    Larissa Latynina

  • Florence Griffith

    In 1988, during the pre-Olympic Games of Seoul’88, she broke the women’s 100 meters world record. It only took her 10.49, a number that no other woman has been able to beat to this date.

    In said games, she also won the gold medal in 200 meters, as well as the 4×100 meters relay race and a silver medal in 4×400 meters.

    In the Olympic Games of Seoul, Griffin broke the 200 meters world record twice: in the semifinals and the final in just 21.34, which is still the best mark ever by a female athlete.

  • Jutta Kleinschmidt

    The first woman to win the toughest rally in the world: Rally Dakar. She succeeded after participating in bikes and winning a stage in cars (1997). In 2001, after reaching the podium for several years, she finally tasted victory with the legendary Mitsubishi Pajero.

    Nowadays, the Rally Dakar is still quite inaccessible for women. Not in vain, in the last edition of 2020, 12 women participated even when there were more than 570 people registered.

  • Edurne Pasaban

    She was the first woman to climb the 14 eight-thousanders. That is, she climbed the 14 tallest mountains in the whole world.

    The first one was the Everest in 2001, while the final one was the Shisha Pangma (Tibet) in 2010.

  • Simone Biles

    She is the youngest member of the list of 8 women for the 8 March that want to celebrate in  HSN. However, this does not mean that she has less prizes, in fact, she will become one of the most popular gymnasts of all time.

    She won an Olympic medal in Rio 2016, six national prizes and five world championships. Moreover, she has earned recognition in individual trials, becoming one of the most renowned female athletes from this century.

    Simone Biles

  • Teresa Perales

    Teresa holds 26 paralympic medals, making her the woman with most prizes in national swimming. We also have to add the other 22 medals from Adapted Swimming World Championships and representing Spain in the Paralympic Games of London 2012.

    After losing the ability to move her legs, Teresa Perales learn to swim and compete in just one year. A clear example of how we can overcome the toughest obstacles.

That concludes our list of 8 Women for the 8 March, we know there are many more out there who are making Herstory every day. How would your list look? Is there any woman who inspires you every day? Let us know in the comments below and celebrate International Women’s Day this 8th of March!

Related Entries:

  • Women’s football is back on the field, read the article here.
  • A nutrition guide for female athletes, read more.
8 Women for the 8 March Review

What is the 8M? - 100%

Women and Sport - 100%

Milestones in Women's Sports - 100%

List of Women - 100%


HSN Evaluation: 5 /5
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About José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia is a professional of communication and sport. He has always tried to combine them in his different professional experiences, like in HSN and the HSN Blog.
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