6 Feminist Moments From The Winter 2018 Olympics In PyeongChang That Have Happened So Far
The latest Olympic Games have already had their fair share of political moments, especially for those of us following Team USA. During the opening ceremony, a Kim Jong-un and Trump impersonator hoping to promote peaceful goodwill between the world leaders caused chaos in the stands, until being kicked out of the Olympic stadium. Following that incident, openly gay Olympic athlete Adam Rippon made headlines for criticizing Mike Pence's anti-LGBTQ statements in an interview with USA Today. But on top of explicitly political moments, there have been a number of subtly feminist moments at the Winter 2018 Olympics, from history making tricks, to systems that have made the Games more gender equal.
According the the Olympics' official website, the first modern Olympics took place in Athens in 1896, and female athletes participated in the subsequent Games, when they were held in Paris in 1900. There, only 22 women participated in five different sport competitions — including tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian, and golf. Throughout the 20th century and early 2000s, more categories of sports for women's participation have been added. As of 2014, women represented 40 percent of athletes at the winter games held in Sochi.
Women competing in the PyeongChang Olympic Games have been making history, winning gold medals, and breaking glass ceilings for young girls around the world who are watching the Games. Here are six groundbreaking feminist moments that have happened during the Olympics — at least, so far.
1. Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu Made History
As People reported, United States skater Mirai Nagasu made history at the 2018 Winter Olympics by becoming the first U.S. female figure skater to land a triple axel jump — breaking a particular glass ceiling of figure skating. The move is considered one of the most difficult in figure skating, and there have only been eight women who've completed the jump during international competitions ever.
2. The Olympic Villages Prioritized Women's Safety
According to Mic, the Olympic Villages in Pyeongchang are the first ever to have sexual assault resource centers that will offer services like medical care, psychological counseling, legal advice, and way to report incident to law enforcement. Given the history of sexual assault at the Olympics, this is an important and necessary resource that's long overdue. Creating sexual assault resource centers is a concrete and actionable way that the Olympics have taken a step towards reducing sexual assault at the Games, and creating an environment where women can feel safe.
3. The All-Women Drum Circle
4. Chloe Kim's Record-Breaking Performance
What's not to love about U.S. snowboarder Chloe Kim? The 17-year-old has understandably become a fan favorite at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Kim's gold medal win in the snowboarding halfpipe competition makes her the youngest female gold medalist in a snow event, according to CNN, and the definition of a groundbreaker.
5. Snowboarder Kelly Clark Inspired Her Teammates
Kelly Clark, a five-time Olympian who has taken home three Olympic medals for snowboarding, has been a huge inspiration to her younger teammates. Clark, 34, has reportedly served as a mentor and friend to Olympic newcomer Chloe Kim before and during the games. Clark's mentorship of her teammates is reminder that in feminism, there is room for all women to succeed and pursue their goals.
6. Kristi Yamaguchi Lifting Up Skater Karen Chen
According to an interview with In Style, Olympic figure skating veteran Kristi Yamaguchi has known PyeongChang ice skating competitor Karen Chen since she was a child, and has offered her advice along her own journey to the Olympics. As with Kelly Clark's inspiring the younger athletes on her team, Yamaguchi's friendship with Chen is so uplifting in a heavily competitive environment.
There are still ten days left in the winter Olympics, so it is almost certain that there will be more feminist moments like these. It'll be hard for the women competing in PyeongChang not to inspire the next generation of female athletes.