TORONTO — Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) proudly celebrated women in sport, in theme with International Women’s Day 2016.

“The participation of women in Canada’s Olympic Movement has come a long way – from Ethel Catherwood’s first Olympic gold medal for a Canadian woman – in high jump in 1928, to Barbara Ann Scott’s gold and first medal for a Canadian woman at the Olympic Winter Games in 1948, to the more recent accomplishments of Sylvie Bernier, Carolyn Waldo, Beckie Scott, Clara Hughes, Marnie McBean, our women’s hockey team, soccer team, our curlers, and so many more! In Torino 2006, our women won 67 per cent of Canada’s total medals and this summer in Rio, three of the four team sports currently qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games are women: rugby 7s, basketball and soccer.

What difference a century makes – women first participated in the Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris, where 2 per cent of participants were women, to the London 2012 Games, the first to have women competing in all sports on the programme, and comprising of 44 per cent of all participants. Today, any new sport seeking to join the Olympic programme must have women’s competitions. I also salute all the female leaders who work in the sport system, whose invaluable and widespread contributions are a symbol of how far we have come together.”

– Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee