The First Female Gold Medalists, Week 11: Softball & Ice Hockey

Excerpts taken from Team USA’s article dated March 24, 2016. 

This week, we stay in the 90’s and with the U.S. women’s team sport dominance in the debut year of each sport.

1996, Atlanta – Team USA Softball

With softball making its Olympic debut at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, the U.S. women had home-field advantage. However, having won 106 consecutive international games from 1986-1995, they hardly needed it. Their winning streak had been ended by a loss to China at the 1995 Superball Classic, and the gold-medal game ended up being a rematch. The U.S. won 3-1, kicking off a run of three consecutive Olympic gold medals. They won silver in 2008, the last year softball was included on the Olympic program.


1998, Nagano – Team USA Ice Hockey

Women’s ice hockey made its Olympic debut at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games and looked to be a showdown between the sports two powerhouses, the U.S. and Canada. It did indeed come down to that, as the U.S. and Canada faced off for the gold medal, with Team USA earning a 3-1 win to take the top spot. The U.S. finished the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record and outscored opponents 36-8. The entire team was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010. The U.S. has medaled at every Games since, but the 1998 team remains the only gold medalists.