Women athletes have come a long way since the first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Then, no girls were allowed, but now they are competing in every sport, including boxing. All I can say is go girls.
Still, why? Why do men still catch the public's eye as if they are the only ones with a game? Take the US Olympic basketball teams, for instance. The women have won thirty-three consecutive games and secured four gold medals.
But all anyone ever wants to talk about are the all-stars---a slew of big name NBA players--who have two measly gold medals. Ok, measly is not the right word, but you get my point. And I don't even know how many consecutive games they've won. Regardless, they are the showstoppers.
Admittedly, even I'm guilty of not giving women their game, and I am as liberated as the next woman. Still, my Olympic excitement deflated when I learned we had tickets to see women's Olympic basketball and not men's.
A lump in my throat, I decided to keep my little secret from our guests until a commentator at the Opening Ceremony mentioned the historical moment for women at London 2012--the first Olympics that females would be competing in every event.
The guilt ran over me, causing me to remember that I cheered for some of the best high school female basketball players in the late 70s into 1980. They could take on any guy, including their 6 foot tall brothers and cousins who also played the game. You know who you are girls.
No athlete myself, except a thwarted runner, I loved watching a good girl's game back then. Really, I did. So what happened in the meantime?
Male dominated professional sports got to me, maybe. Who knows? But one thing for sure is that I lost sight of the game for women.
I even refused to admit that our volleyball tickets were beach volleyball in a game where women seem to dominate. Shame. Beforehand, I tweeted and made status posts on Facebook about volleyball without the beach, though I don't have a preference between the two games.
Ok, so it was the cracks about women's attire that put me off. I mean it's just not real world stuff, but during the games, however, I didn't give a toss what they wore--the girls were talented. I told the world from my place on high, top row Downing Street side, that I was proudly cheering on team USA.
The only thing surrealistic about that experience was sitting in an arena plunked in the middle of London and wondering if I had somehow been transported to Disney World. Nope, it was London, and the games were real, all four of them.
And to be honest, hands down I enjoyed the women's games best. I suspect others are surprisingly having similar revelations.
But women athletes still have a long way to go to top the bill. One American newspaper reported that only a handful of journalists came to cover the US women's basketball team in their opener against Croatia while reporters packed the house the previous night to get a word with well known NBA players.
I didn't see a single reporter, except the commentators, at the beach volleyball, men's or women's, to be honest but surely they had come earlier in the day. Surely, if for no other reason, than not to waste the seats, but that's another story.
Moving forward we have tickets for three women's basketball sessions over the next couple of weeks. Though dreading the commute out to the Olympic Park, I'm looking forward to some exciting basketball.
I'm told, however, not to believe the hype about the travel. People have made it into work as usual and if central London, almost ghost town like, is anything to go by, we'll get there in plenty of time.
In any case, I'm feeling quite fortunate, knowing that I will actually see the real all-stars. Go girls - all of you.