The Tokyo Olympics saw strong performances by U.S. women’s teams, including gold medals in basketball (both 3×3 and 5-on-5), beach volleyball, water polo, and volleyball. Overall, women took home 58% of the total U.S. medals, winning 23 gold medals, 22 silver, and 21 bronze medals in Japan.
Now the athletes will return home to be with their loved ones unable to make the trip to Japan. They will celebrate, they will commiserate, they will give interviews, and perhaps even have a parade in their honor.
And then, days later, they will get back to work!
Yes, Tokyo is far from the last you’ve seen from most of these athletes. From Canadian football captain and gold medalist Quinn to rising basketball star A’ja Wilson, the United States is home to several professional women’s sports leagues where you can watch the best of the Olympians compete with and against each other. Many more women will tour the world to compete in tennis, golf, cycling, and volleyball.
Women playing sports on TV? That doesn’t just happen once every four years. Here’s how you can keep showing up for women’s sports beyond the Summer Games.
Tokyo Paralympic Games
Tokyo isn’t done hosting elite athletes just yet. The Paralympic Games commence on August 24th. Swimmer Jessica Long and track & field’s Tatyana McFadden are appointment viewing. Long made her Paralympic debut in 2004 at the age of 12. McFadden is a four-time grand slam champion, having won the Boston, Chicago, London, and New York City marathons four years in a row.
Olympic gold medalists battle it out in the WNBA
The league returns August 12 with a new competition called the Commissioner’s Cup. Akin to what we see in European leagues, the Commissioner’s Cup is a competition within a competition. In the first half of the season, Breanna Stewart and the Seattle Storm took the top seed in the western conference. They will face off against the Connecticut Sun from the eastern conference.
The remainder of the WNBA season starts August 14 when the 3×3 gold medalist Stefanie Dolson and the Chicago Sky hosts the Seattle Storm. Sue Bird has already announced her retirement from the Olympic stage. Don’t miss your chance to watch one of the best point guards in women’s basketball round out her professional career.
Softball has short wait before Athletes Unlimited season begins
The second season of Athletes Unlimited softball will open on August 28 in Rosemont, Illinois. Three-time Olympic medalist Cat Osterman returns to defend her 2020 championship. Pitcher Taylor McQuillin (MEX) is also returning for a second AU season after the Olympics.
Track & Field storylines continue at Diamond League stops
The 2021 Diamond League circuit continues with the Prefontaine Classic on August 20-21. The headliner is an athlete who didn’t have the chance to compete in Tokyo: Sha’Carri Richardson, who is slated to enter both the 100m and 200m.
The Prefontaine Classic kicks off August 20 with the women’s distance night, featuring 800m Olympic champ Athing Mu and bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers. The 2021 Diamond League series concludes September 8-9 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Beach Volleyball stars return to FIVB World Tour
Beach volleyball competition continues with the 2021 FIVB World Tour. During the first part of the FIVB season, Olympic gold medalists Alix Klineman and April Ross racked up three podium finishes. Brazilians Ágatha Bednarczuk and Eduarda “Duda” Lisboa return as the FIVB top-ranked team.
Tennis action continues on 2021 WTA Tour
The WTA tour is in action right now with the 2021 National Bank Open in Montreal, Canada, while the US Open commences August 30 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York.
Olympic medalists return to LPGA Tour
After winning Olympic gold, Nelly Korda will return to the LPGA tour riding that momentum. Upcoming LPGA events include the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open (August 12-15) and Women’s British Open (August 19-22).
NWSL season, in full swing, welcomes back Olympians
Unlike the WNBA, the National Women’s Soccer League didn’t take an international break for the Olympics. The Portland Thorns sit at the top of the table and will welcome back gold medalist Christine Sinclair and bronze medalist Lindsey Horan on August 14 for a game against the Orlando Pride. Quinn and the OL Reign travel down to Portland for the Cascadia Rivalry on August 29. The regular season concludes on October 31.
Road cycling action continues with World Tour stops
The 2021 UCI Women’s World Tour returns to the road with three European races this month. Tokyo bronze medalist Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) will be among the entrants for two upcoming European races. The Ladies Tour of Norway gets underway on August 12,followed by the Holland Ladies Tour from August 24 – 29.
2022 Beijing Olympics & Paralympics
Perhaps the best blessing of a delayed 2020 Tokyo Games is that the wait until Beijing 2022 is shorter than usual. In a mere six months, athletes will head to China for the Winter Olympics. Kendall Coyne Schofield and the U.S. women’s hockey team will look to defend their 2018 Olympic gold medal.
On Her Turf will continue to bring you stories about women and non-binary athletes overcoming obstacles to excel on the court, on the ice, in the pool, and everywhere in between.
DON’T STOP NOW!!
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) August 9, 2021