‘Our Sport’: The Fight for Control of Women’s International Athletics

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  • Jörg Krieger
  • Michele Krech, New York University School of Law, USA
  • Lindsay Parks Pieper, University of Lynchburg
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) initially ignored women’s sports. The efforts of female leaders and organizations, particularly Alice Milliat and the Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale (FSFI), instead paved the way for women’s inclusion in Olympic athletics. The success of the FSFI’s Women’s Olympic Games in 1922 not only served as a catalyst in this regard, but challenged men’s authority over international sport generally and international athletics specifically. Whereas IOC officials questioned the suitability of physical activities for women, IAAF officials recognized the FSFI as a threat to the IAAF’s position as the singular and supreme organizer of international athletics. In response, it adopted various strategies to gain control over the women’s sport and its organizing body. The IAAF’s decision to support the inclusion of women’s events in the Olympics thus stemmed more from its quest to consolidate authority than from a desire and intention to advance women’s sport. The IAAF slowly gained control over women’s athletics, with lasting repercussions on the progression of women in the sport, as both athletes and administrators.
TidsskriftThe International Journal of the History of Sport
Sider (fra-til)451-472
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2020

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