Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and Their Stories


Bookwagon is delighted to welcome Kate Pankhurst’s Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and their Stories aboard. This addition to an outstanding series demonstrates the writer’s dedicated research and splendid storytelling.

Eight women are selected for this title, beginning with Spartan princess Cynasca, the first woman to compete in the Olympic games. Each woman overcame considerable odds to achieve. These include rules, as with Cynasca, to opportunity as with Olympian Derartu Tula. It seems that her circumstances were so impoverished and remote that her parents were suspicious of her training. Although she hid the dresses she won from running competitions, her parents changed their attitude when she returned with a glass trophy!

Then again, there are physical obstacles to overcome, as with Paralympic champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds and world champion gymnast, Simone Biles. However not all the athletes we read about competed in games. Junko Tabei, for example, climbed mountains initially because of her wonder and delight, but broke down barriers of expectation and tradition in her expeditions and methods. Then again, so did Alice Milliat, determined to force ‘the male sports’ establishment to accept female sport’. Furthermore, what about first megastar sportswoman, Lottie Dodd (whose accomplishments continued beyond the sports arena!)

Bookwagon is awed and inspired by Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and Their Stories. We recommend this title hugely to all readers!

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Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and Their Stories

Kate Pankhurst


Only young unmarried girls and one priestess could  be spectators at the Olympics.’ It seems  any female caught ‘sneaking in‘ to these earliest Games, risked death! However, Spartan princess Cynisca saw a loophole in the rules that allowed her to participate as the first woman. Little did she know that centuries later, there’d be Ellie Simmonds, inspired, beyond any physical limitation, to become an Olympic champion and poster girl!
Then again, Simone Biles is considered the ‘greatest gymnast who’s ever lived‘. However, like other athletes selected by Kate Pankhurst in Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and Their Stories, she has hit obstacles along the way. It’s not always been physical, either. However Ellie Simmonds’ strength and determination have won legions of admirers and imitators, rather like Maria Vieira da Silva.
Like Super Sports Stars Who Are Changing the Game, and other books within Kate Pankhurst’s Fantastic series, the research is extensive and fascinating. What’s more, the selection and the stories grip us entirely. It seems the writer goes into the inspiration, effort, setting and achievements so thoroughly. It means that we are utterly gripped by Fantastically Great Women Sports Stars and their Stories. We recommend this title for reading and learning from and about, being inspired by and thereafter sharing. It is a superb addition to every bookshelf.



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