Bobbie Rosenfeld: One of the greatest all-around athletes
Throughout history, "ladies" were discouraged from participating in team sports because it was thought competition would lead to "manly" behaviours. But thanks to pioneering athletes such as Bobbie Rosenfeld, Nancy Greene and Hayley Wickenheiser, young women now have the freedom to participate and excel in any sport — be it track, skiing or hockey. These women not only excelled in their chosen fields but were instrumental in shattering stereotypes of the female athlete.
Arthritis forces Rosenfeld to retire in 1933. Rosenfeld then trades in her gym shoes for the pen, writing a column called Sports Reel for the Globe and Mail from 1937 to 1957. In 1949, she becomes one of the first inductees into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. A year later, Rosenfeld is named Canada's outstanding female athlete of the half century by the Canadian Press.
• Canadian women dominated track and field at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. Rosenfeld was a member of the record-breaking gold medal relay team along with Florence Bell, Myrtle Cook and Ethel Smith. Rosenfeld also won silver in the 100-metre dash, with Ethel Smith taking the bronze. Ethel Catherwood of Saskatoon won the gold medal in the high jump.
• The decision to send Canada's first women's track and field team to the 1928 Olympics was controversial but their success made them heroes back home.
• In 1924, Cecil Eustace Smith, a 15-year-old figure skater, was the first woman to represent Canada at the first official Olympic Winter Games at Chamonix, France.
• Rosenfeld told CBC's Foster Hewitt that her favourite sport was hockey because of its speed. She was named Ontario's most outstanding female hockey player in the 1931-1932 season.
• Rosenfeld died in 1969 at age 65.
Broadcast Date: July 15, 1964
Guest: Bobbie Rosenfeld
Host: Bill McNeil
Reporter: Norm Perry
Photo: Reproduced from the National Library of Canada's website (www.nlc-bnc.ca)
Last updated: September 20, 2013
Page consulted on December 6, 2013
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