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America's First Female Olympic Champion Was a Golfer

On the eve of the 2016 Olympics, you'd be forgiven for thinking the first female golfer to win a gold medal could be Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko or Inbee Park.

In fact, it turns out that honor went to an American art-student over a century ago!

According to The A Position, "the date was 1900 and the sport of all things was golf. Paris was the site and this was only the second modern Olympiad and the first that included women. Unlike today’s event, the contests were held over several months. Believe it or not, they included motorcycle racing, croquet, cricket, and golf."

"An American man, Charles Sands, won the the 36-hole men’s competition contested on October 2, 1900. The next day the women played 9-holes for their contest. An American art student, 24-year old Margaret Abbott and her mother Mary decided to enter. Margaret had viewed an ad for a golf tournament and she and her Mom decided it would be fun to play in it. Margaret fired a 47 and won the contest while her Mother finished a respectable 7th. As fate would have it, Abbott was only in Paris to study art. She actually thought that the event had something to do with the World’s Fair that was also taking place there. She wasn’t even aware that this was an Olympic contest."

Not only was Ms. Abbot the first female golf champion - but she was America's first female olympic champion in any sport.

For the full story, be sure to check out The A Position.