“The Babe is here. Who’s coming in second?”
Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias dedicated her life to mastering sports such as: basketball, track, gold, baseball, tennis, swimming, diving, boxing, volleyball, handball, bowling, billiards, skating and cycling. Didrikson claims she was nicknamed “Babe” in her teens by the boys who marveled at her long distance homers. Babe was a renowned athlete who was voted the Greatest Female Athlete by the Associated Press, voted Female Athlete of the year six times and qualified in five events for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
“Before I was in my teens, I knew exactly what I wanted to be: I wanted to be the best athlete who ever lived.”
At the time of the Olympics, women were only able to enter 3 events. But that didn’t stop Babe from breaking four world records. That’s right. FOUR WORLD RECORDS. She entered her first golf tournament in the fall of 1934 and won the Texas State Women’s Championship Tournament two-up in April of 1935. Didrikson was also the only woman on the All-American basketball team and played with the House of David baseball team throwing (once throwing a baseball over 300 ft). After concentrating on golf, Babe became the first American woman to win the British Ladies’ Amateur Championship—and needless to say she dominated women’s professional golf for the next 6 years.
“It’s not enough to just swing at the ball. You’ve got to loosen your girdle and let’er fly!”
Mildred Didrikson was said to be a “boastful person who constantly sought attention” and if we’re being honest, we don’t blame her. Being an all-star athlete who crushes every sport you ever try is a blessing and a curse, especially for women during this time. This is speculative to us seeing as we’ve never actually met Babe (unfortunately) or seen her interactions with other competitors. But even if she was a little sassy, in her defense, she wasn’t there to make friends. She was there to win—and she did.
Before passing away from cancer in 1956, Mildred Didrikson Zaharias was known as the greatest female golfer of all time, winner of 17 successive golf tournaments from 1946-1947 and 82 tournaments between 1933 and 1953. But still, some (poor unfortunate souls) felt “it would be much better if she and her ilk stayed home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring.” She was described as having “[…] the most flawless section of muscle harmony, of complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen.” You might not guess from her list of impressive athletic accolades that she was often criticized for not looking “feminine” enough.
YEP. Even one of the most athletically talented women EVER was told that her RECORD BREAKING BODY was “meh.” So apparently the “not real beauty contest” that Mildred Didrikson never entered was the one competition she didn’t win, so sad. We’re sure that female athletes get this shit ALL THE TIME, which is partly why we decided to shine a light on Babe the badass.
Cause Babe sure as hell didn’t.