OLYMPIC GAMES : WOMEN Women were first allowed to compete at the 1900 Summer Olympics, but at the 1992 Summer Olympics thirty-five countries were still fielding all-male delegations.. In 2000 and 2008,Nahrain and United Arab Emirates sent women competitors. By 2010,only three countries had never sent female athletes to the Games:Brunei,Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In 2010,the International Olympic Committee announced it would ‘’press’’ these countries to enable and facilitate the participation of women. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London,every country competing included female athletes. AT the 2012 Olympics,runner Maryam Yusuf Jamal (Bahrain) became the first Gulf female athlete to win a medal. With the addition of women’s boxing to the program in the 2012 Summer Olympics, female athletes were able to compete in all the same sports as men. THE WOMEN: WERE THE ANCIENT OLYMPICS JUST FOR MEN? Bronze Statuette of a girl runner, probably from Sparta, ca. 500 BC, British Museum. ALONG WITH ATHLETIC CONTEST HELD AT ANCIENT OLIMPYA THERE WAS A SEPARATE FESTIVAL IN HONOUR OF HERA. THIS FESTIVAL INCLUTED FOOT RACES FOR UNMARRIED GIRL. A 2ND CENTURY AD GREEK TRAVELLER,TELLS US. HE MENTIONS IT IN A DESCRIPTION OF THE ''TEMPLE OR HERA'' IN THE SANCTUARY OF ZEUS, AND SAYS THAT IT WAS ORGANIZED AND SUPERVISIED BY A COMMITTEE OF 16 WOMEN FROM THE CITIES OF ELIS. THE FESTIVAL TOOK PLACE EVERY FOUR YEARS .THE GIRL WORE THEIR HAIR FREE DOWN THEIR BACK AND A TUNIC HANGING ALMOST AS LOW AS THE KNEES COVERING ONLY THE LEFT SHOULDER AND BREAST. UN MARRIED GIRLS HAD A NUMBER OF ADVANTAGES AT OLYMPIA. THEY NOT ONLY HAD THEIR OWN ATHLETIC CONTESTS OH HERA FESTIVAL IN WHICH TO PARTICIPATE, BUT THEY WERE ALSO ALLOWED TO WATCH THE MEN'S AND BOYS' CONTESTS OF THE FESTIVAL OF ZEUS. MARRIED WOMEN, ON THE OTHER HAND, WERE NOT ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ATHLETIC CONTESTS OF THE HERA FESTIVAL, AND WERE BARRED ON PENALTY OF DEATH FROM THE SANCTUARY OF ZEUS ON THE DAYS OF THE ATHLETIC COMPETITION FOR BOYS AND MEN. WE DON'T KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THE WOMEN ALLOWED THE MEN TO WATCH THE GIRLS' CONTESTS!