Originally posted on Seattle Times  |  Last updated 2/1/12

NEW YORK - AUGUST 31: Tennis player Billie Jean King attends the 9th Annual USTA Serves OPENing Gala at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
It's National Girls and Women in Sports Day -- a time when asked to celebrate women in athletics and how they've influenced you. But what makes the celebration remarkable this go-round is it's also the 40th year of the Title IX legislation. I would have thought after 40 years that more opportunities would have been provided to women in sports. It's good to catch a women's basketball game on television nearly six times a week, but reading that high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than boys is discouraging. Personally, I'm not big on celebrations. Meaning and intentions tend to get lost in annual build up. But I would like to celebrate women like Billie Jean King, Laurel Richie and Tara VanDerveer for the work they've done on creating awareness and change in women's sports. A nod also goes to the Pac-12 women's basketball players over the years who've continued to create change and influence youths, like Kate Starbird, Adia Barnes, and Giuliana Mendiola.
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