MILITARY WOMEN IN SPORTS
Two modern pentathletes from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program have been selected to compete in the Olympic Games at Athens, Greece. First Lt. Chad Senior and Capt. Anita Allen are scheduled to compete Aug. 26 and 27 respectively for Team USA in the one-day, five-sport event that includes pistol shooting, fencing, swimming, equestrian riding and cross-country running. Captain Allen, a Medical Services Corps officer from Star City, Ind., was the first woman to qualify for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team with an August victory in the 2003 Pan American Games at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Military Women at the 2002 Olympics:
Military women athletes participated in the Biathlon and the Bobsled competitions at the 2002 Winter Games.
SPC Jill Bakken
Gold Medal Winner!
Sgt Kristina Sabasteanski
SPC Andrea Nahrgang
Information about sports for military women isn't exactly easy to find. In the '50s we were lucky if our uniforms matched - or fit. As you can see by the mixture in the pictures from the '50s. And though the men were flown from base to base we often had to "bus it". But we did have softball and basketball teams.
Basketball at Hamilton AFB '52
Softball at Hamilton AFB '52
Softball Team Hamilton AFB '52
Then way back in the '60s we were told to stop encouraging team sports for women because it was "unladylike". Some of us ignored those "suggestions" and the young women - at least in my former squadron at McGuire AFB - appreciated having the chance to compete. In fact their abilities resulted in lots of these:
When the 1970s saw the end of all female units and the beginning of integration servicewomen's sports teams were lost in the shuffle. But there were some fine women athletes in the military and ultimately they began to emerge as participants in individual sporting events.
In the 1972 Olympics Air Force Lt. "Micki" King won the Gold Medal in diving.
Now we have military women participating in Armed Forces Championships, National Championships, Conseil International du Sport Militaire - Military World Games, and the Olympics.
|Capt Heidi C. McKenna represented the Air Force at the 1997 Marine Corps Marathon and helped the team to a third place finish in the Military Category. She was selected to the USAF Academy Marathon team for 2 consecutive years, contributing to two wins in the Coed Division at the Air Force Marathon. McKenna finished first in the women's division at the 1998 Air Force Marathon. As a regular participant in triathlons, biathlons, road races, and Masters Swimming events, Capt McKenna consistently finishes in the top.|
|Petty Officer Pamela R. Larry is the current record holder in the Masters 30-34 100m, 200m, and 400m dashes, for the State of Hawaii. During the Hawaii State Games Amateur Olympics, as a member of the Silent Sentinels Track Club, a local club consisting of members from the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force, she placed first in the 100m and 200m dashes, tying the meet records. She set the record in the 400m dash, and anchored the record breaking 400m and 1600m relays, earning an unprecedented five gold medals. Her performance qualified her to competein the 1999 National Amateur Olympics in St Louis, Mo. As a member of the All Navy Track Team competing at the Armed Forces Championship, she represented the team in four events. Her silver medal performance on the 400m relay team and impressive role on the third place 1600m relay team contributed significantly to the team's overall second place finish at the meet; the highest the team has ever placed.|
|SPC Kristina Sabasteanski picked up Biathlon during her career as a cross country skier for Castleton State College, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1991. In 1998, at competitions conducted by the United States Biathlon Association, she qualified to become a member of the U.S. Olympic Team going to Nagano, Japan, for the XVIII Winter Olympic Games. In the 7.5 kilometer sprint, competitors started at intervals of 30 seconds and had to climb a total of 853 feet over the course. They carried .22 caliber rifles, weighing about 7.7 pounds, and 20 rounds of ammunition. SPC Sabasteanski received the Army Commendation Medal for her outstanding performance during the 1998 Olympics.|
|Staff Sergeant Julia L. Watson, a high power rifle shooter at the 1998 National Championships, was awarded the Daniel Boone Trophy for her efforts with a score of 395-18X's. She also won the Mountain Man Trophy (aggregate of the National Trophy Team and National Trophy Individual Matches) with a score of 1181-47X's. Watson's outgoing manner and engaging personality have helped her to establish a strong rapport with her officers and fellow enlisted Marines in the highly demanding environment of the Competition In Arms Program. She has sacrificed countless hours of tedious and physically demanding work to attain her superior marksmanship skills. Staff Sergeant Watson has provided outstanding marksmanship instruction to junior competitors at numerous civilian clinics throughout the United States.|
|SK1 Stacey A. Dolly was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. She graduated from New Smyrna Beach High School. Upon graduation, she enlisted in the Coast Guard July 1988. She is currently assigned as a Recruit Company Commander at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May. Dolly competed in 10 races from December 1997 through September 1998. She placed first overall in 4 races and finished in the top in all the others. In the Walt Disney Marathon, she finished 7th with a time of 2:54:46 for the 26.2 miles. Because of her outstanding performance in this race, Dolly was selected to run on the Navy Cross-Country Team at the 46th Conseil International Du Sports Militarie (CISM) Championships held in Curragh, Ireland. She was a critical factor in the USA team placing 4th out of 26 countries in the women's 5,500 meter course. Dolly also successfully defended her title as the "Strongest Women" in the Fifth Annual Military Bench Press Competition sponsored by Communications Station Miami.|
Women's Volleyball Championship at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas. The Air Force went 6-0 to win its second straight title.The Navy finished second at the May 2-7 1999 tournament.
The Armed Forces Womens' Basketball team competed at the 18th Annual Pro-Am National Basketball Tournament in Orlando, Florida from 22-25 April 1999. The Lady Hoopsters competed against some of the top teams in the country and lost in the finals to a semi-pro team from New York City. In fact their only two losses in the double elimination tournament were to the same team. Unfortunately Latifah Primetime proved to be a tough team by beating the Armed Forces team in the Finals by the score of 67-47.
Source DOD Sports Office. Photos - Official DOD Sports photos. HAFB - personal photos.
Please note: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is displayed without profit or payment for those who have expressed an interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. Nothing on this site is for sale nor is it a commercial venture of any kind - it is a one person page for, and about military women - by one retired military woman.
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