Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Nike Is a Goddess

The History of Women in Sports

by Lissa Smith

“We ought to pay attention to the world of professional sports. What happens at the elite levels makes its way into our culture.” –from the conclusion by Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief of Cond” Nast Women’s Sports & Fitness

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 352
  • Publication Date October 19, 1999
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3761-6
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $17.00

About The Book

With the launching of women’s professional leagues, the success of Olympic gold medal women’s teams, and a new focus on female athletes in the media, women’s sports have finally received the attention they have long fought for and rightfully deserve. As women’s sports have come into their own, thousands of young girls around the country have taken to their local soccer fields and basketball courts and found new role models in the sports figures who inspire them. With this recent explosion in popularity, there comes a need for a history of the women who have made it possible, pioneers like Babe Didrickson Zaharias, Billie Jean King, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Sheryl Swoopes, who played the sports and the politics and made names for themselves in doing so. In a series of thirteen original narratives, each on a particular sport and focusing on the top female athletes who were the foremost figures in their arena, Nike Is a Goddess captures the profound changes women’s sports have undergone and pays tribute to the remarkable athletes who led the way.

Nike Is a Goddess reveals the dramatic story of the rise in women’s sports from the early 1900s when athletic options for women were severely limited and competition was actually discouraged, to more recent years when women compete in as many sports as men and prize their powerful bodies and competitive spirits. While the essays are profile driven, the stories also reveal cultural nuances and give historical perspectives: Gertrude Ederle swam the English Channel in 1926, a time in America when women who removed their stockings to swim were arrested for “nude” swimming; Billie Jean King, the jock advocate for women’s lib, beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes in 1973 when women’s tennis had few endorsements and little prize money; and the women of the WNBA and ABL draw record crowds and rich salaries, attaining a level of cultural significance in the world of sports equal to that of men. Written by top female sportswriters from such prestigious publications as The Miami Herald, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Women’s Sports & Fitness, and Sports Illustrated, Nike Is a Goddess is an inspiring and significant commemoration of a chapter in American history that has never before been written.

“The story of women in sports is a personal story, because nothing is more personal than a woman’s bone, sinew, sweat, and desire, and a political story, because nothing is more powerful than a woman’s struggle to run free.” –from the Introduction by Mariah Burton Nelson, author of The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football and Embracing Victory

CONTENTS

” Track and Field Somewhere to Run by Kathleen McElroy
” Baseball and Softball Swinging for the Fences by Amy Ellis Nutt
” Tennis Net Profits by Grace Lichtenstein
” Golf Selling Their Game by Melanie Hauser
” Boating Women on the Water by Anna Seaton Huntington
” Skiing Rhapsody in White by Jean Weiss
” Figure Skating Gaining an Edge by Michelle Kaufman
” Swimming From Gold Spangles to Gold Medals by Karen Karbo
” Equestrian The Highest Risks for the Boldest of Athletes by Jackie C. Burke
” Gymnastics The Battle Against Time and Gravity by Jane Leavy
” Soccer From the Suburbs to the Sports Arenas by Elise Pettus
” Ice Hockey In from the Cold by Barbara Stewart
” Basketball Not Quite the Game Intended by Shelley Smith

Praise

“The story of women in sports is a personal story, because nothing is more personal than a woman’s bone, sinew, sweat, and desire, and a political story, because nothing is more powerful than a woman’s struggle to run free.” –from the Introduction by Mariah Burton Nelson, author of The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football and Embracing Victory

“We ought to pay attention to the world of professional sports. What happens at the elite levels makes its way into our culture.” –from the Conclusion by Lucy Danziger, Editor-in-Chief of Cond” Nast Women’s Sports & Fitness