|1900||For the first time, women participated in the Games in Paris, France. Twenty-two women (2.2 per cent) out of a total of 997 athletes competed in five sports: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian and golf.|
|1904||Archery became open to women’s participation.|
|1908||Skating and tennis* became open to women’s participation.|
|1912||Aquatic events became open to women’s participation.|
|1928||Athletics and gymnastics became open to women’s participation. Women’s participation in the Olympic Games went up to nearly 10 per cent. For more information click here.|
|1936||Skiing became open to women’s participation.|
|1948||Canoe-Kayak became open to women’s participation.|
|1952||Equestrian became open to women’s participation.|
|1960||At the Olympic Winter Games, over 20 per cent of the participants were women.|
|1964||Volleyball and luge became open to women’s participation.|
|1976||Rowing, basketball and handball became open to women’s participation.|
|1980||Hockey became open to women’s participation.|
|1981||Ms Flor Isava-Fonseca and Ms Pirjo Haeggman were the first women to be co-opted as IOC Members.|
|1984||Shooting and cycling became open to women’s participation.|
|1988||Tennis*, table tennis and sailing became open to women’s participation.|
|1990||Ms Flor Isava Fonseca was the first woman to be elected on to the IOC Executive Board.|
|1991||A historic decision was made by the IOC: Any new sport seeking to be included on the Olympic programme had to include women’s events.|
|1992||Badminton, judo and biathlon became open to women’s participation.|
|1995||The IOC established a Women and Sport Working Group to advise the Executive Board on suitable policies to be implemented in the field of gender equality.|
|1996||The 1st IOC World Conference on Women and Sport took place in Lausanne, Switzerland. Several recommendations were made including “that the IFs and the NOCs create special committees or working groups composed of at least 10 per cent women to design and implement a plan of action with a view to promoting women in sport”. For more information click here.|
The Olympic Charter was amended to include, for the first time in history, an explicit reference to the need for work in this area.
Football and softball became open to women’s participation.
|1997||Ms Anita L. DeFrantz was elected as IOC Vice-President, the first woman to occupy this position.|
|1998||Curling and ice hockey became open to women’s participation.|
|2000||During the 2nd IOC World Conference on Women in Sport, the following resolution was adopted: “The Olympic Movement must reserve at least 20 per cent of decision-making positions for women within their structures by the end of 2005.” For more information click here.|
Introduction of the IOC Women and Sport Awards to promote the advancement of women in sport. To see the full list of the winners, click here.
Weightlifting, modern pentathlon, taekwondo and triathlon became open to women’s participation.
|2002||Bobsleigh became open to women’s participation.|
|2004||Wrestling became open to women’s participation.|
The 3rd IOC World Conference on Women and Sport, which was held in Marrakech, Morocco, reaffirmed the targets established in 1996 by the IOC, IFs and NOCs to have at least 20 per cent women on their executive boards and legislative bodies by 2005 and to consider the period beyond. For more information click here.
Ms Gunilla Lindberg was elected IOC Vice-President.
The IOC Women and Sport Working Group became a fully-fledged Commission.
|2006||Golf* and rugby become open to women’s participation.|
|2008||The 4th IOC World Conference on Women and Sport took place by the Dead Sea, in Jordan, and adopted an Action Plan, which underlined the need for well-researched data upon which a strategy could be developed and promoted; and also emphasised that key performance indicators (KPI) should be set, and a mechanism developed to monitor progress. For more information click here.|
Ms Nawal El Moutawakel was elected as a Member of the IOC Executive Board.
|2009||The XIII Olympic Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, issued a recommendation aimed at strengthening the women and sport policy. For more information click here.|
|2010||Former IOC President, Jacques Rogge appointed Ms Nawal El Moutawakel as Chair of the Coordination Commission for Olympic Games Rio 2016. For more information click here.|
|2012||The 5th World Conference on Women and Sport took place in Los Angeles, USA, with the following two main recommendations: “The IOC should revisit and review the minimum number of women to be included in leadership roles which it set for its constituents, and set up a mechanism to monitor and ensure that this minimum number is being respected” and “the IOC should establish closer working partnerships with the UN and its agencies, especially UN Women, and share in the work of the UN Committee on the Status of Women in order to foster its own gender equality agenda.” For more information click here.|
Ms Nawal El Moutawakel was elected IOC Vice-President and was the first woman to chair an IOC Evaluation Commission.
Ms Claudia Bokel was elected Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission (and as a Member of the IOC Executive Board).
Ms Angela Ruggiero was appointed to chair the IOC Coordination Commission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 2016.
The IOC signed an MoU with UN Women to advance gender equality and promote women’s empowerment through sport.
Boxing became open to women’s participation.
|2013||For the first time, four women became Members of the IOC Executive Board (26.6 per cent of the Board Members).|
|2014||April: The IOC and the UN signed an MoU to strengthen their collaboration. This partnership includes the promotion of “girl’s and women’s empowerment”.|
Women represented 40 per cent of the participants in the Olympic Winter Games.
Female participation in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, set a new record, with 49 per cent of the total.
The adoption of Olympic Agenda 2020 showed the IOC’s ongoing commitment to gender equality in sport. For more information click here.
* Sports which were re-introduced to the Olympic Programme.
Jed Jacobsohn is on assignment for The New York Times, covering the Olympics in London. They are his seventh Olympics, beginning in 1996 in Atlanta. On Tuesday, he spoke from London with James Estrin. The interview has been edited.
What have your favorite moments been at the Olympics so far?
I was able to get the pass to go on the infield during steeplechase (Slide 2), and I was surprised at how close you can get. I was using a fisheye, lying down on the ground with some other pool photographers, literally four inches away from this pit of water, and there are 15 women who are jumping over this hurdle into a pit of water. I got completely soaked. It was such a thrill. The crowd was watching and cheering and kind of laughing at all of us.
Were they cheering for you or laughing at you?
A little bit of both, I think they were mostly laughing like, “I can’t believe what these guys are doing.” It was pretty funny.
The other moment was the 100-meter final with Usain Bolt. One of the reasons it was so great for me is that it was the first time we had our whole crew — Doug Mills, Chang Lee, Josh Haner and Becky Lebowitz — there. I think we killed it. We really didn’t miss anything, and it was a great team effort.
You’ve shot sports most of your career.
Pretty much. I started with AllSport in 1995 and did sports for them, and then Getty until 2010, when I went freelance. Since then I’ve been doing mostly sports, and a a lot of commercial work. I still love shooting editorial, especially at the Olympics because it’s the ultimate for a sports photographer.
You get the full range of sports, and you’re around all the best sports photographer who are competing for the best picture as well.
In a lot of pictures that I’ve seen from London, there are television cameramen or still photographers in the frames.
That’s definitely true. It’s ridiculous at the track. At the 100-meter final, within 5 seconds, there were three Steadicams and a fourth guy on a Segway surrounding them. A TV camera guy tripped over me after the race.
There was a video guy on a Segway?
As soon as the race is over, he’s literally shooting from the Segway.
So you just have a couple of seconds to take your photos before they surround the athlete?
Yes, and the in-between moments, when there’s a gap and the cameramen aren’t in your way. We are in fixed positions for the most part.
What is your favorite obscure sport that you never see except for once or twice at the Olympics?
I’d never shot synchronized swimming before, and at first, I was little skeptical. I felt it was ridiculous and not really a sport. At the pools, they have these little underwater windows, so it actually ended up being really, really cool. It was almost like a voyeuristic experience, shooting from under the pool with these two women doing their routines underwater. It made for some cool pictures. Table tennis was good as well. Kind of like the backyard Olympics. Beach volleyball is fun, too: it’s a totally different atmosphere. My assignment was to shoot the weirdness. They have dancers that come out during time-outs and fire up the crowd. It’s not much like the rest of the Olympics.
But isn’t beach volleyball just volleyball with very few clothes?
The problem is it’s been kind of chilly here, so they’ve been covering up. They do wear bikinis, which I think is probably part of the appeal. My wife says that’s all they seem to show on TV, is beach volleyball.
How has this Olympics compared to previous ones for you?
It’s been the best one that I’ve photographed so far. I’ve always been lucky enough to be able to do a variety of sports. Now a lot of agency photographers, like my friends at Getty, basically shoot one sport. So one guy will shoot handball for three weeks, or archery for three weeks. It’s horrible. I mean, I understand why they do it, because you get to know the venue and all that, but it sounds like a complete nightmare.
At The Times, the stories are generated by the writers, but often, I’m told, “go make a pretty picture,” which is all you want to hear from an editor. That’s perfect. You have to come back with whoever won the race, obviously, but at the same time, you get the freedom to play around, and usually it pays off. We don’t have all the pool positions, but sometimes, that’s good. When you’re not in the prime spot, you can look at things a little differently.
Look at David Burnett’s photo of Mary Decker, that was from a terrible spot.
Exactly. I had a great moment with David Burnett. I happened to sit next to him at the equestrian dressage when Ann Romney’s horse was competing. We were at the top of the stadium, and he was there with his speed graphic and his Leica and a red filter. He said, “You’ve got to turn your camera to black and white, put this red filter on, overexpose by three stops, and it’s going to blow your mind.” There was this puffy cloud in the sky, and I did it, and it was really nice. He’s the best.
Are you able to show anything behind the scenes, that we are not seeing on television?
Not really. I really want to, but there’s a lot of restrictions here. TV is in charge.
How is it different than the first Olympics you went to in Atlanta?
It was definitely a different experience. We were shooting chrome for the most part. I was much more green. Now, I know exactly what I want to do when I get there, and know how to capture that.
What did you learn over all these Olympics? What do you know now that you didn’t know then?
Not to stress out too much over moments. You’re not going to capture everything. You have to let things come to you as opposed to just chasing every moment. Oftentimes, if you just sit back and wait for things to come to you, it’ll happen. Also, not trying to do too much. Knowing your limits. You’re not going to be able to do four assignments a day. Just be happy with what you’re doing when you’re there and not worry about what you’re missing. Early on, I wanted to do it all, and that’s just not possible.
Check out more Olympics photographs by Jed Jacobsohn, Chang W. Lee, Doug Mills and others.
You can follow @JamesEstrin and @nytimesphoto on Twitter. Lens is also on Facebook.
London 2012 on Lens
The photographer David Burnett — as well as the New York Times staff photographers Doug Mills and Chang W. Lee — have also had conversations recently with Lens about their Olympics work in London.