Number of female Moslem athletes in the Olympics

The LA Times ran an article today about the problems that female Moslem athletes face in the Olympics (or in general)
LA Times story (registration required) where it was estimated that there were 50 female Moslem athletes competing in Athens this summer.

But this writer in the NY Post Op-ed article by Amin Taheri the number of female Moslem athletes competing at the Olympics is at its lowest level since 1960.

However, in 1960 there were only a little over 600 women competing in the Olympic games. And in 2004, the number is well over 4000?

If there were more than 50 Moslem women competing in the Olympics in 1960, that would mean that presumably the USSR sent a lot of women from its Moslem republics to compete. Most of the larger Moslem countries today didn’t send very large teams (or any at all) in 1960.

Could it possibly that the percentage of Moslem athletes at the 1960 who were women is higher than it is now? (Which seems likely). But the NY Post article just mentions the number of athletes at being at a low level, although no number is specified (and the IOC does not keep track of the religious affiliation of any competitor).

And please no GD or Pit-like squwking about media sources.

WAG, that the proportion of Muslims among the female competitors is the lowest since xyz. You’re quite right to identify the restriction of religion in the USSR as a an another significant factor in the statistics.

FWIW, it’s irresponsible journalism in the articles to use quotes from the Iranian government, or tales of life for athletes within Iran, as representative of Muslim opinion (whatever that may be). I saw the Malaysian women’s hockey (ahem, field hockey) team a couple of years ago at the Commonwealth games - most were wearing the Hijab and trousers or leggings. Hard to tell if it affected their game, though, because they were playing Australia…

OK, maybe that was squawking. But I did mention statistics, too…and I really don’t think there can be a definite answer to the question of historical representation of Muslims at the games.

Another thing to consider is that in 1960 there were very few (if any) team sports for women. So that would limit the number of competitors even more.

The LA Times story doesn’t claim that 50 Muslim females athletes is anything other than a journalistic WAG. And it’s a pathetic one (sorry, squawking again :smiley: )…what are they doing? Hijab-spotting in the Olympic Village?