Google Celebrates A Stereotype-Shattering Female Athlete

Today, Google's homepage is graced by record- and stereotype-breaking runner Fanny Blankers-Koen. The Dutch athlete made history at the 1948 London Summer Olympics, when she became the first woman to win four gold medals in a single Olympics.
The Doodle shows Blankers-Koen racing down the Olympic track, with the Google letters spelled out in the crowd of onlookers.
Blankers-Koen made her first appearance in the Olympic games in 1936, where she finished sixth and fourth. However, she missed opportunities to improve on those finishes when the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were canceled in the midst of World War II. She married her coach, Jan Blankers, and had two children by the time the 1948 Olympics rolled around.
When 30-year-old Blankers-Koen qualified to attend, her decision to leave her children at home defied what many viewed as a woman's responsibility, and she received many angry letters protesting her choice. She went on to prove her critics wrong, winning gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and 80m hurdles. She still holds the record for defeating her opponents by the largest amount — 0.7 seconds — in the 200m. Blankers-Koen could have won even more gold medals, but according to Smithosonian Magazine, athletes were only allowed to compete in three individual events at the time.
Although she dealt with continuing sexist coverage despite her success — her nickname was "the Flying Housewife" — Blankers-Koen became a role model for female athletes everywhere: In 1999, the International Association of Athletics Federations named her the top female athlete of the 20th century.
Today, Google recognizes the legendary runner on what would have been her 100th birthday.
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