19 Women Who Made History At The Rio Olympics

All of these women, American or not, deserve to be recognized.
Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle Final at
Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women's 100m Freestyle Final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Over the the last week and a half, female athletes, in particular, have stormed through Rio de Janeiro and into the record books. In sports ranging from swimming to wrestling, women have made sure their performances both in the water and on the ground will not soon be forgotten. 

With the games wrapping up soon, we thought now’s as good a time as any to take a step back and appreciate just how many historic moments there have been for female athletes in Rio so far. And hey, there are still a few days left for even more memorable moments, too. 

1. Katie Ledecky broke the world record in both the women’s 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle.

2. Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to take gold in an individual swimming event.

3. Michelle Carter became the first American woman to win gold in shot put.

4, 5, 6. Three American women swept the 100-meter hurdles ― the first time any country has done so.

7. Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in a hijab.

8. Sara Ahmed became the first Arab woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal.

9. U.S. cyclist Kristin Armstrong made sure she won her third gold medal in the cycling time trial, then collapsed to the floor.

10. Jenny Simpson won the U.S. its first Olympic medal ever in the women’s 1500-meter race.

11. And Emma Coburn won the U.S. its first medal in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

12. Oksana Chusovitina, 41, became the oldest woman to ever compete in Olympic gymnastics.

13. Japan’s Kaori Icho became the first woman to win four straight Olympic gold medals in wrestling.

14. Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman to medal in wrestling.

15. Shaunae Miller literally dove across the finish line to win gold in the women’s 400-meter final.

16. Judoka Majlinda Kelmendi won Kosovo’s first Olympic medal ever, and it was gold.

17. Monica Puig won Puerto Rico’s first-ever gold medal, and it was in tennis.

18. A Mexican-American woman named Sarah Robles won the U.S. its first weightlifting medal in 16 years.

19. And finally, some 19-year-old woman named Simone Biles became the first U.S. gymnast to snag four gold medals at one Olympic Games. 

For more Olympics coverage:



Feminist Moments From Summer 2016 Olympics