According to figures released by the International Olympic Committee, Olympic Rio 2016 has an all-time highest number of female athletes. 45% competitors are female, slightly increased from Olympic London 2012. “Gender equality is not a ‘women’s issue’. It is a basic human right of profound importance and fundamental principle of the Olympics Charter.” – said Thomas Bach, International Olympic Committee President. Not only Olympic Committee but also all sport organisation are working hard to bring the equal recognition for women and men.
In the heat of Rio 2016, Jet Reinerink, our young Ambassador will share her thoughts about gender equality in Olympic and also in school sport. Jet was a member of team Netherlands participated in ISF World School Championships Volleyball 2016 and elected to be ISF ambassador representing school sport spirit in youth all over the world. As a girl playing sport from her very young age, Jet believes that both boys and girls should always have equal right and opportunity to practice sport in schools.
” This Olympics I mostly watched volleyball and beach volleyball, which I practice and train myself. Beside, I love watching gymnastics, cycling and swimming. It is a true pleasure watching the athletes that we love showing their skills at the great Games. I feel that women have the equal room as men in all events that I have watched.
One of the most remarkable performances for me was the female Dutch volleyball team won from the Chinese volleyball team. Dutch team was 11th on the international rankings while the Chinese team was at the 2nd in the same list and they were the recent Olympic Champion. I think that was a great performance. Our girls were giving their best during the games. I’m inspired by the Dutch volleyball team because they are performing very well at the Olympics. The captain has a injury right now and they are still performing good.
The Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen also inspired me. She won the first gold medal for the Netherlands. Normally her Dutch teammate Annemiek van der Vleuten would have won the gold medal, but she crashed just before the finish. After finishing Anna was more concerned about the injuries of Annemiek than being happy with her gold medal. She also said that Annemiek also deserved a gold. It was about how strong you are to be at the top and how well you get along with the team. These girls really showed us how great team spirit could be.
This year it got closer to gender equality ever than before. I think that number of female athletes is going to increase in the next Olympics. Female athletes are grabbing more medals and also attention. They are as talented as men in all sport disciplines. The most important thing is that female athletes need to play their leading roles in attempting to convince other females and girls to practice sport as well. And it needs to be done from schools, as school sport is the house of talents. I had opportunity to participate in ISF World School Championship that promoted equal right for both boys and girls teams. ISF tournaments are a wonderful chance for any girls to make a step closer to the international level like Olympics.”