The American tennis player Maureen Connolly became the first woman to win the tennis Grand Slam in 1953. Nicknamed “Little Mo” after a US warship, Connolly dominated her sport and became a global celebrity, but her career was cut short by injury and she died an early death. BBC tennis commentator Gigi Salmon tells her story.
This programme is an Audio Always production.
Photo: Maureen Connolly with her Wimbledon trophy. Copyright: Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation.
USA wins the first Women's World Cup
The USA beat Norway 2-1 in the final of the first official FIFA World Cup for women, held in China in 1991. The competition helped lay the foundations for female soccer both in America and worldwide. Carin Jennings-Gabarra was part of America's so-called "triple-edged sword" of goal-scoring forwards; she won the Golden Ball Award as the best player of the tournament. She shares her World Cup memories with Mike Lanchin.
Photo: Michelle Akers-Stahl (C), Julie Foudy (L) and Carin Jennings (R) celebrating their victory in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup (Photo by TOMMY CHENG/AFP/Getty Images)
Germany's 'Golden Goal' heroine
In 2003, Germany won the Women's World Cup for the first time thanks to a powerful extra-time header in the final against Sweden from defender Nia Künzer. Künzer's strike was a Golden Goal, which gave instant victory to the Germans and was later voted Goal of the Year in Germany, ahead of any efforts by men. Nia Künzer talks to Lucy Burns about a match that helped put the women's game on the map.
(Photo: Nia Künzer, centre, at the 2003 World Cup. Credit: Getty Images)
Tony Hawk, skateboard king
In June 1999, the US skateboarder Tony Hawk made history by becoming the first person to perform a trick that was thought to be virtually impossible. At the X Games in San Francisco, Hawk successfully completed a “900” – flipping round two-and-half times before landing safely back on his board. Hawk’s feat was followed by the massively successful computer game Tony Hawk: Pro Skater, and is credited with sparking a boom in the sport. He talks to Freddy Chick. The programme is a Made-in-Manchester Production
Japan's women footballers lift the nation
In 2011, the Japanese women's football team defied the odds to win the World Cup final against the overwhelming favourites, the USA. The players and coaching staff were inspired by the prospect of boosting Japan’s morale as it recovered from the devastating Fukushima earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident. In 2017, Robert Nicholson spoke to Japan's star midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi and coach Norio Sasaki.
Image: Japan captain Homare Sawa lifts the World Cup trophy in 2011 (Credit: Reuters/Action Images/Matthew Childs)