Women’s First Olympics – Herstory 15

Women’s First Olympics – Herstory 15


Hello and welcome to this Olympic edition
of Herstory. Today on the show we have none other than the very first female Olympic champion-Hello!-British
tennis player Charlotte Cooper. Charlotte think fast. Ohhh! Butterfingers. Charlotte
I understand your nickname is Chatty, can I call you Chatty? I don’t really know why
people call me Chatty though because some people say well I talk a lot and I tell them
well no, I don’t really talk all that often. I talk when I’m, you know, I feel compelled
to talk or I have things to talk about and if you’re, if I’m talking about tennis then
my goodness I can go on and on and on of course but I–no I don’t really understand why it
would be that someone would call me Chatty. Well if you’d shut-up for a minute I will.
Oh! You competed in the 1900 Olympics in gay Paris, the very first games to admit women.
There weren’t very many of us, only around 22 women who participated. In 1900 Paris Olympics,
only golf and lawn tennis, my specialty, included women’s only events. But what about rhythmic
gymnastics? At the time also in Paris the exposition was going on. The Olympics were
really yet another attraction. Nonetheless that did allow me on July 11, 1900 to beat
the French Helene Provost in the women’s singles event and become like you said the first female
Olympic champion. I do want to acknowledge for American viewers that a couple of days
after my historic win, Margaret Abbott of Chicago did win the golfing event making her
the very first American female Olympic winner. Now who was your sponsor? Were you a Nike
girl, a Reebox lady? Really your only sponsor was say your blue-blood. No-what? The Olympics
at that time were sort of a leisure activity for the wealthy. You had to be able to afford
to already be vacationing say in Paris or have a home in Europe or in my case to just
be able to travel there. When you went to the Olympics what was your, you know, your
tennis wardrobe? What do you mean? I’m wearing my tennis uniform now. This was happening
in July? This was the Victorian Era you see, there was no ankle-showing allowed. Chatty
I hate to bring this up but you must have had horrendous pit stains. A lady never sweats.
Charlotte. Yes it was very hot. I just don’t want to talk about it. Well Charlotte lets
move away from the Olympics for un moment to your personal tennis herstory, you were
a bit of a shoe-in for this significant win. You were essentially the best female player
in the world, how did that come about? Well I grew up playing at the Ealing Tennis Club
in Britain. Apparently I had quite a knack for it. By the time I reached the Olympics
you see I already had three Wimbledon titles under my belt or should I say under my girdle.
How did you keep fit, what was your exercise regiment? In the wintertime there was no tennis-playing
because it was an exclusively outdoor sport back then. In order to stay in shape, I would
run occasionally but I would also walk and do a lot of skipping. Skipping? And I played
on a hockey team. One thing that might have given you a bit of an advantage on that Olympic
tennis court was the fact that you were one of the only female players to do a certain
something. I served overhead, that in fact was something that women rarely did before
World War I. The thing about it is Chatty that’s so incredible about you–who me?–yes
you, I’m looking at you girl. Me? Yes! No! Yes! No you! You! Someone behind me? There’s
no one behind you, you! I’m blushing. This Olympic win significant though it is to women’s
athletic history, it’s merely a footnote in your tennis resume. As all of this is going
on you were reaching the Wimbledon finals eight years in a row, a record that would
only be broken in 1990 by none other than Martina Navratilova. Navrat-who? In 1908 you
won Wimbledon at the age of 37 with two children in the stands. What was your secret? Was it
that skipping you were talking about? The skipping probably helped. Chatty you are a
gold medal in my book. Speaking of which, I am a smidgeon disappointed you showed up
without it. About that. Where’s your Olympic bling woman? I sort of gave away all of my
trophies and medals to my gardener. He was a good gardener. Well Charlotte Cooper I tell
you what I will give you something for your accomplishments that is just as valuable.
This pretend trophy that I bought at a second-hand store. Oh, look at it! My gardener will love
it. Well Charlotte ‘Chatty’ Cooper thanks so much for coming on the show and for making
Olympic herstory. Yes!

22 Replies to “Women’s First Olympics – Herstory 15”

  1. Finally! I get to learn about women from history or should I say HERstory!
    I just wish they'd teach more lessons about the influential women that changed a lot about the world we see today.

  2. Truly gotta admire all the women (Charlotte included, duh!) that spent all the time with ALL THOSE LAYERS OF CLOTH ON. I BARELY EVEN MOVE AT ALL AND THESE WOMEN PLAYED FULL LENGHT GAMES WITH ALL THAT ON THAT'S ALRIGHT

  3. I think it would be cool if you did a herstory about Imogen Heap a British music artist who not only writes all her songs but has produce three all by herself. You kind of look like her and while sadly most music producers today are men she has been able to win two Grammies for her independent producing. I really like your videos. ^_^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *