2015 Is The Year for Women In Sport

We’ve only passed the halfway point of the year with many sporting events still to be covered, but I can’t think of another year in modern history where female athletes have stood out as much as they have this year.

No, seriously. Find me another year. In the meantime, I’ll count the ways that this year has been defined by women’s sports.

Canada has just hosted the Women’s World Cup. You might have heard about it. While our Canadian women’s team underachieved at this year’s tournament, the team did an outstanding job getting people attracted to the women’s counterpart to the international event, reaping in record attendance numbers .

The United States women’s national team emerged victorious at the tournament, and the world will now remember Carli Lloyd’s name, on top of Hope Solo, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach. Even a certain news editor at The Link has showered praise for Carli Lloyd, calling for her to be president of his own home country.

I bet it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch for her to get votes, especially considering her hat-trick against the Japanese squad within the first 40 minutes of the World Cup final. But I’m sure she’ll enjoy the new Visa endorsements.

If you feel like reliving the Women’s World Cup on your video game console, well you’re now in luck! Not only will the FIFA video game from EA Sports feature female players in their game, but they will even feature promptly on store shelves. Canadian legend Christine Sinclair will get to share a cover with Lionel Messi, while Alex Morgan will be on it for the American market.

If my soccer arguments aren’t enough, consider the fact we can now include mixed martial badass Ronda Rousey and tennis dynamo Serena Williams in the conversation for most dominant athlete, male or female.

Both were nominated for an ESPY Award (it’s really an award we only care about for a few minutes, but still!) for Best Female Athlete this year, and there was debate whether Rousey, who eliminates her opponents in seconds, was deserving of winning over Serena Williams, who is one major championship away from winning all four on the women’s circuit this year and completing a “Serena Slam.” Even if that doesn’t work out, she is still the winner of the last four majors if you count last year’s U.S Open.

Personally, I feel Serena should’ve won the honour after dominating at the Australian and French Open and Wimbledon this year. But both athletes have left their nearest competitors in the dust, and it isn’t even funny. In each of their sports, there is no true challenger who can step up to them and give them a real fight. It’s almost child’s play.

In addition, neither athlete shows fear in the face of adversity and have no problem showing their personality in front of cameras and social media. From reactions after winning championships:

To calling out athletes in public:

In basketball, the San Antonio Spurs hired the first ever full-time female assistant coach in the four major sports leagues in North America, Becky Hammon. How is she doing? Well, she just coached the San Antonio Spurs’ summer league team to a championship recently. It pales in comparison to an actual NBA Finals trophy, but a win is a win.

This past weekend, the Canadian women’s basketball team just captured a gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto over the Americans. In a time where the Canadian media has praised male Canadian basketball stars such as Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis, Nik Stauskas and soon-to-be college star Jamal Murray, the women have obtained an impressive accolade. They cannot be overlooked.

Especially Kia Nurse, brother to Edmonton Oilers prospect Darnell Nurse and niece to former National Football League quarterback Donovan McNabb, who has been regarded as the best female basketball player in Canada.

Finally, in what has proved to be the most polarizing and controversial story this year, Caitlyn Jenner, a Olympic champion, won the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award for courage, after coming out as a transgender woman earlier this year.

We are in mid-July, there are still more sports to cover, which means there is more time for female athletes to add to one of their most successful and newsworthy years ever.

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