What was the first ancient Olympic Games event in which women were permitted to compete?
In the ancient world, only men were permitted to compete in the Olympic Games. However, there was one event in which women were permitted to compete – the chariot race.
Though women were not allowed to enter the Olympic sanctuary during the Games, they were allowed to compete as the owners and trainers of horses in the chariot races.
It was in the year 396 B.C. that Princess Kyniska of Sparta exploded onto the scene and made Olympic history.
Kyniska was the first woman to compete in and win in the marquee tethrippon event at Olympia, the four-horse chariot race.
At this Olympiad, which came on the tail of several years of brutal civil war among the Greeks, and at a time when many Greek city-states reviled Sparta, Kyniska came forward like a force of nature.