Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Indy 500’s Woman Pioneer Sees Slow Progress In Women’s Sports

INDIANAPOLIS (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Women athletes have come a long way baby, but change still isn’t fast enough for Janet Guthrie, the first woman driver at the Indianapolis 500.

Guthrie made her pioneering appearance back in 1977 and is surprised at how little has changed since then, and points to the media frenzy surrounding golfer Annika Sorenstam when she participated in a PGA event two years ago.

As Guthrie puts it, “Somebody said, ‘No athlete has ever been the subject of such pressure,’ and I was thinking, ‘That person wasn’t around when I got my chance at Indianapolis.”

Guthrie says she always felt she was a “driver who just happened to be a woman,” as opposed to a “woman driver.”

As a result, she says the most gratifying moments after a race was when she’d hear another driver say, “Where is that guy who was driving the blue Jaguar? He did a great job. I’d like to talk to him,” and the driver would turn out to be her.

Guthrie discusses her pioneering past in a new book, Janet Guthrie: A Life At Full Throttle (SportClassic Books).

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