Margaret Ives Abbott was the first American woman to win at an Olympic event. She won the women’s golf tournament.
The 1900 Games, the first in which women were allowed to compete, included 11 female athletes competing in the golf, tennis and yachting. However, these games were so poorly organized and publicized that many competitors, including Abbott, did not realize that the events they entered were part of the Olympics. Historical research did not establish that the game was on the Olympic program until after Abbott’s death, so she herself never knew it.