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Breakthrough 1976-03
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Breakthrough 1976-03 - Page 10. March 1976. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 21, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4730/show/4723.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(March 1976). Breakthrough 1976-03 - Page 10. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4730/show/4723

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Breakthrough 1976-03 - Page 10, March 1976, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 21, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4730/show/4723.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Breakthrough 1976-03
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date March 1976
Description Vol. 1 No. 3
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 16 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332726~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 10
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_515j.jpg
Transcript Olympic athletes take 10 medals By Jan Cunningham Prior to the start of the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, the best that was expected of the U.S. team was a total of seven medals. The team came home with 10 medals, and of the 10, six were won by the women's team, three by the men's, and one by our ice dancing team of Millns and O'Connor. Five of the six medals won by the women came from the skaters, with the remaining women's medal going to Cindy Nelson in the women's downhill race. It was also the skaters (two women and one man) who won the only gold medals of the competition. Shelia Young sprinted to victory in the women's 500-meter speed skating event and 19 year-old Dorothy Hamill proved an opportunist as she took the gold medal in figure skating from the reigning world champion, Dianne DeLeeuw of The Netherlands via the United States. The U.S. routinely produces Olympic and World Champion women figure skaters who eventually are able to retire to lucrative television and/or ice show careers. For this reason thousands of little girls spend hundreds of hours in ice rinks all over the U.S., their dream being a place on the U.S. team and an eventual medal in world class competition. It is a very highly competitive situation and because of this, Dianne DeLeeuw, a native Californian with dual U.S.- Netherlands citizenship, chose to skate for the Netherlands. By skating for the Netherlands, Dianne didn't have to work her way up through the ranks of the U.S. figure skaters and she was exposed to world class competition much sooner than she would have been had she skated for the U.S. The choice seemed a wise one when she won the 1975 World Championship with Dorothy Hamill finishing second. Thus, Ms. DeLeeuw was the expert's pick for the gold medal in Innsbruck. Free skating, the part of figure skating usually seen by television viewers, is not all there is to figure skating. It is actually a very highly technical sport with complicated scoring. The free skating exercise makes up only 50 percent of a skater's total score while the other 50 percent comes from scoring on school figures and compulsory skating exercises which require the skater to perform certain specified steps and jumps on the ice in time to music. Skaters are also judged on their artistic interpretation as well as their skating ability. Dorothy Hamill is considered the world's best free skater while Dianne DeLeeuw is considered a better skater in technical areas, such as school figures. It was this that led DeLeeuw to the World Championship. She piled up an insurmountable lead in school figures and compulsories which Hamill could not overcome with her free skating performance. However, in Innsbruck, Hamill was a surprising second at the end of the school figures and Skiers win honors The 1976 Winter Olympics has shown, in living color, that physical coordination, courage, strength, and competitiveness are not, after all, exclusively male characteristics. In skiing events, the women had trained just as long and as seriously as the men. They were all determined to win medals. And when they fell, they fell just as hard. Women's skiing was dominated in these 12th Winter Games by a long list of underdogs: Rosi Mitternraier, who in ten years had never won a downhill race; Cindy Nelson, who announcers said would not win a medal because she had "psyched herself out"; Hanni Wentzel, whose country, Liechtenstein, had never won a winter sports medal; France's Danielle Debonard, whose country had not taken an Olympic medal in women skiing in almost ten years; and Kathy Kreiner, an unknown 18 year-old Canadian who had never placed better than tenth in the slalom. These were the winners. They walked away with medals because they were talented, dedicated, courageous, physically fit, lucky and, most of all, determined. But there were also the women who did not win medals: Lindy Cochran, who was shadowed by her own family name, Austria's Monika Kaserer, Switzerland's Lise-Marie Morerod and Marie- Therese Nadig. Perhaps Nadig best exemplified the courage and determination of all of the skiers. In the downhill, she raced with a temperature of 103. A favorite in the slalom, her right grip snapped just as she left the starting gate and she lost her right pole. In an amazing and moving show of skill and bravery, Nadig skied almost the entire slalom course using only her left pole. Probably no one can recite all the names of the women who tried and lost, but the fact is, they did try. One thing is certain: Whether the women won or ost, they all possessed physical coordination, courage, strength, and competitiveness. This fact in itself made the Winter Games well worth watching. In most cases, the women were taken seriously because they demanded to be taken seriously. And in spite of the fact that the ABC announcers seemed to think the only good skier is a pretty skier, it was a great Olympics for women. It can serve only to enhance the status of women in sports everywhere. LINDA LOVELL DeLeeuw an even more surprising third. (The leader at the time was Christine Errath of East Germany, a very weak free skater). By the end of the second phase of the competition (compulsory exercises to music), Hamill had climbed into the lead, with DeLeeuw second. Skating first in the final portion of the program (the free skating), Hamill was almost perfect, as DeLeeuw watched an appreciative audience shower the ice with flowers at the conclusion of Dorothy's performance. (The flowers later entirely filled a shower in the dressing room of the ice stadium.) The gold medal up for grabs, DeLeeuw stepped onto the ice and began her program flawlessly. But halfway through she faltered, then made two serious mistakes, and it was all over. The Olympic figure skating gold medal came back home to the United States. While figure skaters get flowers, speed skaters get cold feet, cold hands, pulled muscles and fatigue. Speed skating is all work and you don't hear the applause until it is all over. For Shelia Young, premier speed skater of the Olympics, the victories measured in minutes were the result of four years of back-breaking labor and single- minded devotion to a cause - the Olympics. Following a dismal showing in the 1972 Olympics, Young put her personal life aside to train for 1976. Since there is only one speed skating rink in the U.S., she left home and moved to Wisconsin to be near the rink. She gave up her educational plans and worked as a waitress to support herself. In the summer, lacking ice, she took up spring cycling to keep in shape and won the worlds championship in 1974. She was the only athlete, male or female, to hold two world championships in two different sports. A few days before the Olympics Young became the world champion in both the 500 and 1,000 meter speed skating events. She came to the Olympics a heavy favorite and went home with three medals - the gold in the 500 meter, the silver in the 1,500 meter and a bronze in the 1,000 meters. The 1,500 silver was a surprise. Shelia is a sprinter and was only using the long distance 1,500 to warm up for the two sprint events which were to follow. After grabbing all the goodies in speed skating she then proceeded to grab the affection of Olympic viewers everywhere. On the victory stand she was solemn as "The Star Spangled Banner" began in honor of her gold medal. Soon, however, the realization of the moment struck her and she burst into a huge grin which she unsuccessfully attempted to suppress. The rest of the awards ceremony was like that -- solemnity followed by delight. She hocked her world championship sprint cycle to bring her fiance, an Olympic cyclist, to Innsbruck. (Let's hope he remembers the favor this summer). Following the speed skating competition Young was &**tfti4A > A <A* everywhere at the Olympics, cheering on teammates and opponents in various events. President Ford called to congratulate her and she wasn't in, so she called him back - collect! When last seen, she was proudly bearing the U.S. flag into the ice arena for the closing ceremonies. Shelia Young's got class! If Shelia Young was the Olympic spirit, Leah Poulos typified the spirit of the Olympics. Leah Poulos is a 27 year-old U.S. distance speed skater who was given an outside chance for a medal in the 1,500 meter event. She finished that event a disappointing 6th and was left with only two chances for a medal - the 500 meter and the 1,000 meter. Both are sprint events calling for an allout effort on the part of the skater rather than allowing her to pace herself as she can do in the distance events. The 500 was first and Leah lost the bronze medal by hundredths of a second. Now it all came down to the 1,000 meters - her last chance in what was probably her last Olympics. (Speed skaters, like swimmers, retire at very young ages. The punishing training takes its toll of both body and mind and 27 is considered old for a speed skater.) One can only imagine what went through her mind as she waited for the race to begin. She knew it was her last chance for a medal, she knew it wasn't her event, and she must have been discouraged and tired after the previous races/ But somewhere during the race Leah Poulos found a desperate reserve of strength, and skated to a silver medal. Only an athlete can guess what effort that medal cost her. Only an Olympic athlete can know that it was worth it. Jan Cunningham is a contributing editor to Breakthrough. Team-up! SOCCER. There is a women's soccer league forming for the summer and there will be another league in the fall. Also forming is a league for girls and women 18 years old and under. They need players, coaches and sponsors. Anyone interested should call Kathy Parker at 795- 5350. SOFTBALL. The league starts the end of March. Practices are Wednesday evening and Sunday afternoons. Call Jan Cunningham at 522-7164. SPONSORS NEEDED. The feminist softball team is looking for sponsor. The whole team can be had for a mere $300 to $500 (completely tax-deductible and wonderful advertising). Individual players go for $25. We are interested in obtaining businesswomen for sponsors, but unchauvinistic male business persons will be acceptable. Call Jan Cunningham at 522-7164 between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. 10