Did You Know? Beijing by the Numbers
Tucker Center Newsletter - 2008 Fall
To highlight the contributions of female coaches and athletes at Beijing, a “by the numbers” analysis provides some interesting results. Data released by the USOC indicate that 26% (11 of 43) of all head coaches of women’s teams were female, while female athletes comprised 47% (276 of 585) of all athletes representing the United States. The U.S. team won 110 medals, including 36 gold medals. Overall, female athletes earned 48% (n=53) of all U.S. medals—15 gold, 23 silver and 15 bronze. This percentage includes gold medals for the beach volleyball, soccer, basketball and women’s eight rowing teams, and individual golds for gymnast Shawn Johnson, swimmer Natalie Coughlin and hurdler Dawn Harper.
Such accomplishments provide ample evidence that sportswomen compete—and succeed!—at the most elite levels of international competition. But they also indicate that more work needs to be done in terms of increasing the number of women head coaches at all levels of competition. For example, at the intercollegiate level nationwide, 42.8% of women’s teams are represented by female head coaches. For additional information pertaining to the employment trends of female coaches in intercollegiate sports, see Vivian Acosta and Linda Carpenter’s 2008 report at webpages.charter.net/womeninsport.