Growing up in Western Michigan, Julie Krone looked up to a male athlete for the majority of her young life. Krone was a thoroughbred jockey, and she wished for nothing more than to have as successful and meaningful of a career as the male thoroughbred jockey, Steve Cauthen. She chased her dream when she went to Florida where she debuted at Tampa Bay downs. Two weeks later, Julie won her first race, finally making a name for herself. Then in 1993, Julie did something amazing for women in sports. Julie won the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first women to win this race. When her career came to an end, she was inducted her into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, the National Women’s Hall of Fame, and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
After reading Mika LeVaque-Manty’s chapter called “Being a Women and Other Disabilities”, it is evident that men and women are inherently different in the aspect of sports because of their different strengths and weaknesses on a biological level. Although, it is not these differences that are making them unequal, it is how society values the distinct qualities that they both possess. The overarching opinion in today’s society is that men’s sports are better than women’s sports. It is these societal values and institutional barriers, such as the barriers Krone faced, that contribute to the fact men’s sports are more popular.
Not only is it a big accomplishment for a women to beat a man in a sport, it is astonishing for a women to win a predominately all male race. This was a huge accomplishment for her because in the past, men have always been looked upon to race these horses. They are often in better shape, and have more endurance. Yet, Julie was able to show that a certain amount of finesse was able to make up for what she was lacking in brute strength. Julie could have done what is most common to settle this argument, and race a man one versus one. If she is to win then it is still a big deal, just not as big of a deal if she wins in an all male jockey race. Like Mika says in “Being a Women and Other Disabilities”, “A person’s mere presence at a pursuit does not mean she actually participates in it; it depends on the terms on which she does it.”
In 1993, Julia Krone was able to show that women can keep up with men in sports, and even come out on top. It is a sweeping generalization that women can not compete with men in sports. Julie took the first step towards breaking down institutional barriers and opening the doors for more women jockeys to take a chance. This proved to the public that women could hang with men in some sports, key word SOME. While this was a big win for the advancement of women’s sports, it has to be known that there are only so many sports that women could actually compete with guys, Jockeying being one.