Babe Didrikson Zaharias: the Most Prolific All-Around Athlete in Sports History

For young women with athletic aspirations, life before the enactment of Title IX was vastly different. Primary physical activities for women included cheerleading and square dancing, and a mere 1 in 27 girls played sports in their high school years. Scholarships for female athletics were virtually unheard of, and women received a mere 2 percent of a school’s overall athletic budget.

Despite the limitations placed on women in the decades before the enactment of Title IX, many women had successful athletic careers. One such woman was Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who is arguably one of the most accomplished all-around athletes of our time, who accelerated in nearly every sport she tried: basketball, track, golf, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball. Handball, bowling, billiards, skating, and cycling.

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