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Milestones that made women's sports what they are today

Thirty-three years ago this September, tennis star Billie Jean King defeated self-professed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes challenge match. That pivotal event – it attracted a global TV audience – is rated the top moment in the history of women's sports by ESPN and the Women's Sports Foundation (which King herself founded). The 10 most memorable moments, as determined by the two organizations:

1. The Battle of the Sexes in tennis, 1973

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2. President Nixon signs Title IX law, expanding support for female participation at high schools and colleges, 1972


3. Babe Didrikson becomes first woman to win three Olympic medals in track and field, 1932


4. Wilma Rudolph is first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics, 1960


5. US wins women's World Cup soccer final over China before 90,000 fans, 1999


6. Amelia Earhart flies solo across the Atlantic, 1932


7. Althea Gibson is first African-American to win a Wimbledon tennis title, 1957


8. Gertrude Ederle becomes first woman to swim the English Channel, 1926

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9. Women's softball and soccer make Olympic debuts, 1996


10. All American Girls Professional Baseball League begins 11-year existence, 1943



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