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Women have come a long way since the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924 in Chamonix, where just four per cent of the participants were female. All seven sports on the winter programme have been open to women since the 1998 Nagano Games, which saw the first women’s ice hockey and curling competitions. In Turin in 2006, they represented a total of 38.28 per cent, and today in Vancouver they are up to 40.51 per cent.
Women were also in the spotlight at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Games held last night at BC Place. In all, 25 female flag bearers led their delegations during the athletes’ parade. Among the eight Canadians who carried the Olympic flag into the Olympic stadium there were four women: Betty Fox, an activist in the fight against cancer; Anne Murray, a Grammy award-winning singer; Barbara Ann Scott, the first Canadian Olympic figure skating champion (1948 St Moritz); and Julie Payette, an astronaut.
Learn more about women and sport.