Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunita signals new high for women


Two years before Sunita Williams was born, in 1963, a 26-year-old Russian textile worker Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman who went to space.

Thousands of women had gathered in Moscow's Red Square to cheer and celebrate the moment.

In 1975, Japanese women Eiko Hisana and Junko Tabei became the first women to reach Mount Everest.

Some have gone underwater to reach the top in endurance – 35-year-old Hillary Lister, who conquered the English Channel alone with her grit and determination.

A quadriplegic, she can only move her head using straws to control the sails of her boat on that historic journey two years ago.

Our own Bengali waterbaby Bula Chowdhury was the first woman to have swum five seas in seven continents.

Sunita's set a record for women in space - but six years ago 51-year-old Drs Kamal Vilku carved a record for women on ice spending 16 months in Antartica .

They are all women who have raised the bar and inspired the next generation to push the limits of endurance further.

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