High School Senior Coughlin Wins Wrestling Title
Patrick Wins Pole Position for Indy 500
On February 17th, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the pole position for the Daytona 500. Patrick will led the field at the Daytona 500, following in the treadmarks of Janet Guthrie, the first woman to race the Daytona 500. Patrick is also a contender for the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year award with the fastest qualifying time (her top speed was 196.434 mph.)
Patrick placed 8th in the race. Jimmie Johnson took first.
Azarenka Repeats Australian Open Win
In a finals series that was more gritty than pretty, defending Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat back crowd favorite Li Na of China. This match followed Azarenka’s semi-final win over American Sloane Stephens which included a controversially-timed medical time-out that shifted the momentum of the match in Azarenka’s favor. In the quarterfinals, 19-year-old Stephens defeated veteran champion Serena Williams in a surprise upset. This tournament win secures Azarenka’s position above Williams as the world’s top ranked female tennis player.
National Women’s Soccer League Launches with Eight Teams
Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Portland, Seattle, New Jersey, Western New York, and Washington, D.C., will support the first home teams of the newly formed National Women’s Soccer League, whose first season of play begins this spring. All of 2012’s U.S. Olympic Gold Medal winners will play on a team, with FIFA Player of the Year Abby Wambach donning a jersey for Western New York, and Olympic stars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe playing for the Portland and Seattle teams, respectively.
Skier Shiffrin Wins 2nd World Cup Race
17-year-old skier Mikaela Shiffrin became the first American to win two World Cup races in one season before the age of 18. In her second race, in Zagreb, Croatia, she beat her closest competitor by 1.19 seconds. Shiffrin is a senior at Burke Mountain Academy athletic high school in Vermont.
Second International Conference on Women’s Sports
The 2nd International Conference on Women’s Sports will take place February 4-5 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Some objectives of the conference include discussing the barriers women in sports face, highlighting the role of sports in improving women’s social and physical well being, and strategies for encouraging young girls to participate more actively in sports. Last year’s conference drew attendees from 17 Arab and other countries; this year the conference promises 750 national and international delegates. The conference’s main sponsor again this year is the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy. Mubarak is the mother of the current Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Taurasi Named U.S.A Basketball’s Female Athlete of the Year
After leading the U.S. to their fifth consecutive Olympic gold in 2012’s London games, Diana Taurasi was named Female Athlete of the Year by Team U.S.A basketball. This is the third time Taurasi has been awarded the honor, tying four-time Olympic gold medalist and retired WNBA star Lisa Leslie. Former Olympian and Minnesota Lynx player Teresa Edwards tops both as a four-time recipient of the distinction.
Women’s Soccer Finds Advocates in Muslim World
At a seminar in Amman, Jordan, members of the West Asian Football Federation (WAFF) and Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) announced a new initiative to cultivate female soccer players and teams in the Muslim world. Included in the initiative are the establishment of a WAFF women’s committee and the establishment of youth competitions for young women. The campaign will kick off with a girl’s football festival on March 8th, International Women’s Day.
National Girls & Women in Sports Day
The 27th National Girls & Women in Sports Day is February 6th, 2013. This year’s theme is “Girls in Sports: An Investment in the Future.” To celebrate the day, girls and women are encouraged to wear a t-shirt or jersey identifying their participation in sports.
Contributed by Bergquist, Brenner, Haas, & Young