Alice Milliat

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Milliat in 1913

Alice Milliat (born Nantes, 1884 - died 1957) was a pioneer of women's sport in France and around the world. Her lobbying on behalf of female athletes forced the inclusion of women's events in the Olympic Games.

Milliat, a translator by profession participated in the sport of rowing.[1]

A member of Femina Sport, a club founded in 1911, she helped form the Federation Francaise Sportive Feminine in 1917, becoming treasurer and later president.[2] In 1921 she organized the first international women's sporting event in Monte Carlo.

Formation of the FSFI[edit]

On 31 October 1921, Milliat formed La Fédération Sportive Féminine Internationale (FSFI) to oversight international women's sporting events. In response to the refusal of the IAAF to include women's track and field athletics events in the 1924 Olympic Games, the FSFI decided to hold a Women's Olympic Games in 1922.[3]

Women's World Games[edit]

Main article: Women's World Games

The first Women's Olympics were conducted in Paris and featured five teams including the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia as well as the host country France.[3]

Eleven athletics events were conducted and the 20,000 strong crowd saw eighteen athletes break world records.[1]

Infuriated by the use of the term 'Olympic Games' the IOC convinced Milliat and the FSFI to change the name of their event in exchange for adding 10 women's events to the 1928 Olympics.[1]

As such, the next edition of the event, held in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1926, was termed the Women's World Games. Ten teams took part in this edition of the Games.[3]

Two further Games were held in Prague in 1930 (featuring other sports in addition to athletics) and in London in 1934 before the FSFI was forced to hand over control of international women's athletics to the IAAF.[1]

Football (Soccer)[edit]

In 1920 Milliat assembled a football (Soccer) team of women from Paris that toured the UK and played the Dick, Kerr's Ladies on behalf of France in the world first internationally recognised Women's Football tournament.

References[edit]

External links[edit]