Since the beginning of the Olympic and Paralympic movements, women have played a significant role, pushing the envelope of competitive excellence and equality on and off the field. Be sure to read these inspiring stories of the women of Team USA who are featured in the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum.
She teamed with Jessie Diggins to win a dramatic gold medal in the sprint relay, the first U.S. cross-country skiers to win Olympic gold.
It took the curiosity of University of Florida professor Paula Welch to realize that Margaret Abbott was the United States’ first female Olympic champion.
She was just 16 years old when she won Olympic gold in the 100 meters; eight years later, after surviving a plane crash, Robinson won Olympic relay gold.
She took up track as an offseason complement to basketball and attended a college that had never sent a runner to the U.S. Olympic Trials.
The U.S. sent just one man to the inaugural Paralympic Winter Games in 1976; four years later, Castellano won two skiing gold medals.
The daughter of a Hollywood manager, she learned the sport from an Austrian director who taught it to actors and actresses.
She won the U.S. senior ladies championship at age 14 and competed in her first Olympics two years later.
One of the greatest coaches in college basketball history, she guided the U.S. women’s basketball team to its first Olympic gold medal.
She led the University of Connecticut to the 1995 national championship, won Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996, played in the WNBA and became a television analyst.
With three gold medals, one silver and two bronze, she is the only athlete to win Olympic medals in all three shooting disciplines.
She competed in three Paralympic Games and won seven medals in a variety of distances.
Blind since birth, she competed in seven Paralympic Games and won an astounding 41 gold medals.