When considering the historic and current role of female athletes in the Summer Olympics, it is appropriate to begin with the modern Olympic Games, which began in 1894. The 1894 games marked the first modern Summer Olympic Games. The establishment of summer and winter Olympic Games as separate events with characteristically seasonal athletic activities did materialize until 1924.

Prior to the modern Olympic Games era, the ancient Olympic Games, which began in 676 B.C.E. in Greece, did not allow women as spectators, let alone as competitors. Some scholars believe that the inception of the modern Olympic era marks the commencement of the struggle for women and their athletic place in history.

Although the word modern describes the current era of Olympic Games, it is important ...

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