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So what does a female athlete look like? Sportswriter Jane Gottesman spent years collecting images of girls and women involved in sports and physical activity that might answer that question. The results: her book "Game Face," edited by Geoffrey Biddle; and a Smithsonian exhibit that will open in Washington from June 27 to Jan. 2, 2002. The exhibit will also be displayed at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and continue on a five-year national tour.

The photos, accompanied by topical quotes from athletes and female sports advocates, celebrate the pride and pain, sweat and strain, muscle and momentum of women engaged in sports. Sure, the passage in 1972 of Title IX (audio) gave women more equal footing on the court and field, but their challenges and achievements through sports extend far beyond what the law mandates.

Is a woman's "game face" definable? (Give it a shot in our bulletin board.) Maybe. Maybe not. But it is recognizable -- through the energy, the commitment, the joy -- on their faces and in their success.

  ENTER GALLERY
Jane Gottesman on "Game Face"
Book and Exhibit Reviews
Your Opinion: Define a Female Athlete