"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance ..."
Not quite a gold medalist, I never the less benefited from sports and team participation.
Of course, as a teen, I never realized just how lucky I was to even have the option to play basketball, gymnastics and in other sporty arenas.
And, to think it was all due to little ol' number 9.
As Title IX celebrates its 40th anniversary, I talked with three local gals, who ultimately benefited from the 1972 education amendment. That key addition morphed into a hugely beneficial opportunity for girls wanting to be athletes. Ironically, while Title IX is best known for its impact on high school and college athletics, the original statute didn't even make explicit mention of sports.
During this summer of Olympic champs, such as Gabby Douglas and Missy Franklin, it's hard to imagine Title IX not being part of our world.
Lindsey Arms, Pittsburg; Los Medanos College:
"I started playing volleyball (when I) was 11 years old.
"It would feel wrong for sports not to be offered to girls because sports are where I maintained stress levels and learned all about team work, which was the most important (aspect) I learned from it all."
Dallas Butterfield, Antioch; William Jessup
While at Antioch High, Butterfield played varsity football, and now plays soccer and runs track.
"I started (playing) sports by age 5. If I hadn't had that opportunity, I would most definitely not be who I am today. (Sports has) molded me into the strong female I am and has helped me shape my goals and future ... The most important thing I've learned is how strong I truly can be and how to be a leader.
"(It) has been an outlet for me my whole life. I have no idea who or where I would be without sports."
Gianna DiMercurio, Brentwood, Freedom High:
The track athlete and soccer player first hit the field at age 3.
"I've been playing ever since.
"(Without sports), there would definitely be a void in my everyday life. I would be lost! My whole life revolves around athletics. Sports has (helped teach) me to be responsible, and to physically and mentally prepare myself for everything I do. I've also learned to trust and rely on others, and not to just demand respect but earn it. I've learned to never say I can't do something."
Contact Trine Gallegos at email@example.com.