- 06/13/2011, 05:49PM ET
BackRoads said 06/13, 05:49 PM
This is an easy decision. The greatest American female athlete of all time is Mildred Ella Didriksen, also known as Babe Didriksen. Born in 1911 in Port Arthur, Texas she excelled in Basketball, Track and Field and Golf until her untimely death in 1956. And it isn't that she excelled in these sports, but the ease with which she learned and dominated.
1930 - 1932 she was a member of the women's All America basketball team. During this same period, she also won eight T&F events and tied in a ninth.
In 1932 she competed in the Womens AAU track meet as a team of one and outscoring the 20 member team from Illinois 30 to 22.
In the 1932 Olympics in LA she won the 80 metre hurles and javelin. Using the unorthodox Western roll, she won silver in the high jump.
She also excelled in baseball and softball, swimming, figure skating, billiards and even football.
Without a doubt???Babe is the best.
Good luck MMT
BM. said 06/14, 10:15 AM
Well it seems as though there are only two possible choices for this TD. You picked a great one, but I feel my choice is the greater all-around athlete.
My pick was chosen by Sports Illustrated for Women as the greatest female athlete of all time (Babe was 2nd), and Sports Illustrated voted her the best female athlete of the 20th century.
She was a star collegiate athlete, who played college basketball for UCLA. She was voted the Top Female Collegiate Athlete of the Last 25 years after her college career.
She was an olympic star, who excelled at the heptathlon (the ultimate olympic competition that consisted of 7 events: 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m, long jump, javelin, and 800m). She currently holds the world record for total score in the heptathlon and is second all time in long jump distance.
My choice is Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
What makes her greater than Babe is competition. Babe competed in the early 1900's, and to be quite honest, the competition was not up to par. Kersee dominated the competition over 50 years later against much more solid competitors. MMTC Later.
Babe was great, but Kersee was greater.
BackRoads said 06/14, 09:25 PM
Good points MMT...but let's consider a couple of things.
1. Jackie Joyner-Kersee had the benefit of training facilities, trainers, coaches who were well versed in their sport....Babe's track training basically consisted of "see that long road? Go run".
2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee had the benefit of a society that is accepting of female athletes, in fact they applaud them, reading some of the comments on this thread you might not think so...but Babe did her achievements in a time when females were to be in the kitchen and not on the field of "combat". I didn't mention golf much in the first post.
Babe tinkered with golf in High School, but didn't start playing until 1935. Once she became serious, it wasn't long before she was a Professional. And playing in the PGA (note the missing "L") she was the first woman to compete in the PGA by playing in the LA Open in 1938 (3 years after beginning to play seriously). In 1945 she played again and made the cut (making her the first woman to make the cut in the PGA).
In all, Babe played in 3 PGA tournaments and she had to qualify for them unlike today's who get sponsor's exemptions.
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