Just as Sivan Hasan gave colors to the Tokyo Summer Games, Irene Schuten did the same at the Beijing Winter Games. It is no coincidence that women are the national figure in the Olympic Games today.
If you look at the medal harvest in the Netherlands, you will see that the international showdown on ice and snow is getting better and better. Sports historian Jorit van de Voen talks about a massive acceleration since 2014.
In the last three Winter Games, Wilhelmus has appeared a total of 24 times, while this has happened 53 times in history. “This means that the Netherlands have won almost as much gold in the last twelve years as they did in the 86 years before that.” The first Winter Games were held in 1924.
Women have outperformed men
The ratio of winners between males and females is remarkable. Although the first gold athlete was a woman – figure skater Sjoukje Dijkstra in 1964 – men dominated for many years after that. But in this version, the athletes outperformed the athletes in the overall score: in the history of the Winter Games, women have now won more gold than men. At the Summer Games, that tipping point had already been reached at Rio 2016.
What makes Beijing even more special is the number of nicknames behind the new champions: Erin Schouten (3), Susan Schulting (2), Erin Faust (1), Kild Noyce (1) and Thomas Kroll (1). Van de Vooren: “The 6-2 ratio at this tournament is unprecedented. Never before have women won more gold than men at the Winter Games.”
Are these statistics relevant? Yes, van de Voen says. “The IOC has been promoting gender equality since 2000. If this has been a policy for nearly a quarter of a century, it makes us curious about the consequences. It is interesting to see that the Netherlands is leading the way around the world.”
No other country has won six gold medals in Beijing with the entries, not even other rich countries like the United States, Germany and Norway. In other words: the Netherlands is the leader in the fictitious classification of women.
“Since 2000, there has been a clear trend for our country to do well on this list,” says van de Voen. But we have never before defeated larger countries not only in percentage terms but also in absolute numbers. It is really surprising that the Netherlands is so high.”
hard to explain
The sports historian has no explanation. The NOC-NSF Sports Parachute does not have a separate role for women in its top ten ambitions. They are not preferred in the selection policy. It is possible that foreign competition between women is less intense in some sports. In general, the Netherlands has a large density of sports facilities, but men benefit from them just as much.
Chef Carl Verheijen dares not explain why women succeed above average. “I don’t have an explanation for that,” he said at his closing press conference in Beijing.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee is aiming for an equal number of males and females to participate in the upcoming Summer Games in 2024. This will be the first time. The beautiful development of fate is the site of that event, as Van de Vooren says: Paris, the capital of the country in which the liberation revolution began.
Player Alice Millais founded the first international women’s sports federation there in 1921, in response to the structural exclusion of her gender. Then women were welcomed for the first time at the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam. A century later, the Netherlands appears to have benefited the most from this.
Gold in the group start was the best part of Erin Schouten’s team
Irene Schouten dominated the skating championships in Beijing and could call herself the most successful athlete in a single Olympics. The gold medal in today’s collegiate start was perhaps the most important medal for her team – an outsider in the world of skating.
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