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WOMEN'S SPORTS FOUNDATION HOLDS ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
Published October 19, 1999
The Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) held its 20th annual awards dinner last night in N.Y. and awarded Mia Hamm the organization's Team Sportswoman of the Year award and Juli Inkster the Individual Sportswoman of the Year, according to Lena Williams of the N.Y. TIMES. U.S. soccer team member Julie Foudy was named President-elect of the WSF and will succeed WNBA Shock GM/coach Nancy Lieberman-Cline when her term expires next year (N.Y. TIMES, 10/19). USA TODAY's Carol Herwig writes that Foudy "brings the energy and enthusiasm of the" WWC to the WSF (USA TODAY), 10/19). In other honors, track star Gail Devers received the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award for her battle with Graves Disease and former WSF Exec Dir Deborah Slaner Larkin received the Billie Jean King Contribution Award (WASHINGTON POST, 10/19). Hamm, on women's athletics: "Everyone is waiting for us as women athletes to fail, but this room is filled with a testament to the courage and success" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/19). But WSF Founder Billie Jean King said that women's sports are still "not getting the corporate backing we need." NEWSDAY's Laura Price, writing under the header "Fight For Acceptance Isn't Over," notes, "The ABL failed in small markets, the WNBA has survived with the backing of big brother NBA. Despite the sizzling popularity of women's tennis, the WTA has no sponsor. Women's soccer is exploring a professional league but will tread carefully before leaping." Hamm: "What we don't want to happen is to be around two years and then go away" (NEWSDAY, 10/19). THE VIEW FROM THE TOP: WSF Exec Dir Donna Lopiano writes in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL that last night's event was "completely underwritten by co-presenting sponsors" GM and Merrill Lynch, along with WSF's national sponsor Mervyn's of California. Lopiano writes that there "are generations of female athletes who have taught us that there is a women's game that is different from the men's game -- not lesser than or better than, but refreshingly different" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 10/18 issue).