Women’s sports are more popular than ever – so why are there only three statues of female athletes in the UK?
Since the ancient Greeks and their Olympians, statues have been a way to commemorate athletic achievement. In recent decades, the global inventory of sporting monuments has grown to include a wide range of sports. There is no rulebook governing which athletes deserve commemoration – but those chosen for such an honour can tell us much about the values and priorities of modern sporting culture.
One notable theme in sports statuary is how few statues there are of women. The sporting statues project database has recorded statues around the world of more than 750 different football players and managers – but only seven are from the women’s game – and all were erected in the past decade. This includes the current England women’s coach, Sarina Wiegman, who is Dutch, at the Netherlands football HQ in Zeist.
The US has more than 300 baseball sta...
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