THE GIRLS OF SUMMER

WHO NEEDS THE DREAM TEAM? AMERICA'S FEMALE SQUADS WERE THE GAMES' HOTTEST ACTS

As a hard-throwing 10-year-old growing up in Orlando, Florida, Dot Richardson wanted to play Little League baseball. But a coach said she'd have to cut her hair first and call herself Bob. Dot passed up that invitation and opted for girls' softball instead. Two decades and a gold medal later, she notes that things have improved for sports-minded girls. "You can see the change in women's athletics," she says. "Young girls today have more opportunities than I ever had."

Richardson had her opportunity in the third inning of the gold-medal game between the U.S. and China. With a runner on first...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!