As part of the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, On Her Turf is compiling a list of 100 ways women can make history at this summer’s Games. This is the second post in the series. If you missed the first post (No. 91-100), you can find it here.
#90: At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Helen Maroulis became the first American to win gold in women’s wrestling, defeating three-time defending Olympic gold medalist Saori Yoshida of Japan. After qualifying for her second Olympic team, Maroulis will look to become the first American wrestler – of any gender – to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals since John Smith won consecutive titles in 1988 and 1992.
#89: 2016 Olympic triple jump silver medalist Yulimar Rojas could become the first Venezuelan athlete – in any sport – to win more than one Olympic medal.
#88: Paratriathlete Allysa Seely will be looking to win a second straight gold medal after leading the U.S. to a podium sweep in the PTS2 classification at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
#87: Syrian table tennis player Hend Zaza qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in February 2020 when she was just 11 years old. Even with the Games delayed a year, Zaza is still on track to become one of the youngest Olympians of all-time. The youngest known female Olympian is Cecilia Colledge, who was 11 years, 107 days when she competed in figure skating at the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid.
#86: Tatyana McFadden earned medals in six track & field events at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, from the 100m to the marathon. The 17-time Paralympic medalist is expected to contest a similar program when she makes her sixth Paralympic appearance in Tokyo.
#85: Host nation Japan has never won an Olympic medal in trampoline, but that could change in Tokyo thanks to Mori Hikaru, who will enter her first Olympics as the reigning world champion.
#84: There are two Olympic canoe sports: canoe sprint (head-to-head races contested on flatwater courses) and canoe slalom (competitors navigate their way through the rapids). Despite the official sport names, up until this point, women haven’t actually been allowed to canoe at the Olympics. Instead, women have competed only in kayaking events, while men have had both canoeing and kayaking. That will change in Tokyo, where women’s canoeing will make its debut. American Nevin Harrison is expected to contend for a medal in canoe sprint after winning the C-1 200m title in 2019, while fellow American Evy Leibfarth is a rising star in canoe slalom.
#83: Only one athlete has ever won three Olympic gold medals in the 100m sprint: Usain Bolt. In Tokyo, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce could become the first woman – and second athlete – to achieve the feat. After claiming back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, she claimed bronze in the event in 2016. She returned to the top of the podium at the 2019 World Championships, exactly two years after giving birth to her son Zyon.
#82: The U.S. has never finished better than sixth in women’s hammer, which debuted at the 2000 Sydney Games). American DeAnna Price, who has been on the rise in recent years, seems likely to end this drought after winning the 2019 world title. Fellow American Gwendolyn Berry, whose 2019 protest against racial justice helped spark a policy change, is also expected to contend.
#81: With four career medals, American Kerri Walsh Jennings is already the most decorated player in Olympic beach volleyball history. If Walsh Jennings qualifies for Tokyo, her sixth Olympics, she could become the oldest Olympic volleyball player (indoor or beach) at age 42.
Over the next 90 days, keep checking back to On Her Turf for more ways women can make history at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.Follow @AlexAzziNBC
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