10 Women Who Made Olympic History in Rio

After two weeks in Rio, women have taken center stage. Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky have become household names. Claressa Shields and Simone Manuel have challenged our cultural norms around what athletes look like. Over and over again, we got to watch women slay on the global stage at the most inclusive event in its history.

The last two weeks in Rio have been record-setters, with 65 new Olympic and 19 world records set at the 2016 Games. And many of those new records—as well as some Olympic firsts—were achieved by women.

Here’s a quick recap of ten of them.



Emma Watson is an editorial intern at Ms. and a rising senior at Smith College, where she studies English literature and neuroscience and works as a peer writing tutor. She has a zeal for fiction, through which she engages with queer and feminist issues. Emma spends her free time listening to sea ballads and writing peculiar YA fantasy novels.