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Sports for Girls: 2008 in Review, Danica Patrick, Dara Torres

Sports for Girls: 2008 in Review, Danica Patrick, Dara Torres

This is the time of year we look back over the greatest games, the spectacular catches, and the momentous moments that captured our wildest imaginations' and touched our hearts but the women of 2008 stole the show from the pool to the court including Dara Torres, Danica Patrick and Candace Parker.

This is the time of year we look back over the greatest games, the spectacular catches, and the momentous moments that captured our wildest imaginations' and touched our hearts. There was Phelps with his historical conquest of Beijing, the Tampa Bay Rays with their historical conquest of the pennant, and the greatest, and most costly, Super Bowl game in NFL history.

Doesn't it seem like the boys get all the credit when it comes down to the end of the year? How about we credit some of the ladies this time? Of course, we can't forget to mention the infamous Mitchell Report and Clemens' embarrassing rebuttal, or the fact that the Detroit Lions made history this season by becoming the first NFL team to go winless.

But, I digress...back to the ladies. This was a monumental year for the women of the US, especially when speaking of the Beijing Olympic Games. Of the 110 medals that the US took home in 2008, 53 of them were won by female athletes. These women toppled their competition, reserving the right to be known as the greatest competitors in the world. While Dodge was airing its "rematch" minivan commercial, the US women's soccer team was reminding Brazil why it would never be taken for granted. In the rematch, the US defeated Brazil with one fatal goal. Our ladies on the court also took gold, defeating Australia in the final match.

And come on, how can I talk about the Olympics and not mention Dara Torres, only the sexiest swimmer to glide beneath the water? 

What I wouldn't give to be that water... By simply showing her picture, I've completely diverted your attention from this column, and may not get it back for a few minutes. I could probably say anything right now, as you're staring at Torres' six-pack. After breaking the 25m Freestyle record before qualifiers, Torres took home three silver medals. With Natalie Coughlin and Amanda Beard, it's no wonder swimming ranks in the top ten of most watched Olympic events.

I won't mention how, in the last softball game to be held at the Olympics, our ladies lost their only gold medal hope to Japan. I would say better luck in 2012, but unfortunately that isn't an option. The common assumption was that the US team was just too talented, which is why the Olympic Committee chose to remove softball from future programs. Perhaps we are lucky enough to have this loss reflect in the minds of Olympic officials, and our beloved game will return in 2014 for a much anticipated rematch.

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Speaking of softball, even Ellen was touched by the story of Sara Tucholsky, who blew out her knee while rounding first base in the greatest game of her life. The Western Oregon senior had never hit a home run throughout her softball career, until the Division II elimination game, when it counted the most. Like Casey at the Bat, Sara shot one far over the left-field fence, winning the game and knocking out Central Washington. As fate would have it, she missed first base, and in returning to tag it, tore a ligament in her knee and collapsed to the ground. Remarkably, knowing their team was near elimination, two members from Central Washington lifted her from the ground and carried her to each base.

Speaking of injuries, Candace Parker fought through a dislocated shoulder injury to help the Lady Vols pick up their 8th NCAA Championship under the direction of Pat Summit, who ironically also dislocated her shoulder under much different circumstances. She told reporters that it was a vicious fight with a rabid raccoon - maybe not those exact words - that caused her shoulder to pop out of its socket. She has recently undergone shoulder surgery to correct the raccoon-inflicted-injury.

I have to mention the fact that Arizona State University took home the title this year over Texas A&M with the largest margin of victory ever in a NCAA Softball Championship game. Go Devils!

The women were also on top of the race track in 2008, or should I say woman. Danica Patrick became the first women ever to win an Indy car event, by smoking the boys at the Indy Japan 300. Besides a marketing sensation, brunette bombshell, short-tempered and quick to blame, and acclaimed speeding ticket collector, Danica ended her season in sixth place. I'm not a big fan of Indy, but did you happen to catch her in this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition? Whether she is winning on the track or not, she definitely scores high in other categories. She was one of AOL's most searched athlete's of 2008.


In looking over the past year, and drooling over the pictures of 2008, I can come to one resounding conclusion; female athletes are gorgeous. From Dara to Danica - even the defeated and disgraced Marion Jones - to Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor; female athletes are beautiful. Here's to the year of beautiful, powerful, talented women.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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