The 2018 U.S. Olympic Team is comprised of 244 athletes; 135 men, 109 women.
Among the 258 athletes lining up at the start of the first Winter Olympics in 1924 held in Chamonix, only 11 were female, all of them figure skaters. Gradually Women's participation continued to increase reaching 20% by 1960. Events that were once considered masculine were added; ice hockey opened to women’s participation by 1998 and in 2002 bobsled for women was added. In 2014 women represented 40% of the participants in the Olympic Winter Games.
Now that the 2018 Winter Olympics is underway history is already being made. In the women’s 15 kilometer skiathlon, Norway's Marit Bjoergen came in fewer than eight seconds behind the leader to take silver, adding to her trove of 10 prior Olympic medals, making her the most decorated female Winter Olympian of all time.
Over at zenobiabookseries.com we talk about Zenobia and the Ancient Olympics. Women were prohibited from directly competing in the events. They were allowed to enter horses in chariot races. These women were banned from driving the chariots themselves, but as owners and trainers they were still eligible to claim the victory wreath.
Cynisca, a princess of Sparta was the first woman in history to win at the Ancient Olympic Games. The Spartan princess is frequently used as a symbolic figure of the social rise of woman.