Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a great time to acknowledge the many contributions girls and women have made to sports in our nation and their efforts to achieve equality on the court and on the field.
Iowa is no stranger to equality in women's sports, though. Long before Title IX, Iowa girls basketball commanded national attention for the athleticism of girls who played the game of six-on-six. It was truly a pioneering effort, and the games they played are still ones for the records.
It didn't end there, though. Women have continued to excel in all types of sports - sometimes venturing into sports once considered the domain of men.
Who can forget the world championship soccer game that sent virtually millions of little girls onto fields throughout the country the next spring, all emulating their idols.
We've seen heroes locally too, whether it's the stellar performances of girls basketball or relay teams or cross-country. Girls and women are narrowing the gap between themselves and men, and it's probably only a matter of time when people no longer talk about what's a good "time for men" compared to what's a good "time for women" in a marathon. Instead, they'll talk about what's a good time for a runner. Period.
Certainly, Title IX had its role in changing women's athletics. But women didn't need a law to give them the drive and desire to excel in all athletic endeavors.
We encourage all girls and women to participate in athletics at all levels. Run, jump, play and swim toward your dreams.
Because you deserve to realize them.