Monday, August 13, 2012

Women Show Up and Win

I feel a few things coming on now that the Olympics are over: a let down from the lack of thrilling competitions and amazing shows of grit and determination, and I’ll get more sleep. But more importantly, I hope we’ll see an increase in women and girls participating in sports in this country and a lift in confidence and support.

Going into the Games, with nearly 5,000 women competing in the London Olympics, every participating nation had at least one woman on its team and women made up more than 50% of the US Olympic team. That’s ground breaking. However, at a press conference Sunday reported on by NBC Sports, the head of the Olympic movement, Jacques Rogge, expects that it will still take at least a decade to show real improvement among all countries when it comes to participation by women in sports. While another article from USA Today highlights the fact that the IOC needs to step up and reflect what’s happening in sports – only 22 of its 109 members are female.

As we celebrate Title IX this year, the London Olympics remind us that we are extremely lucky to have the opportunities to participate in sports that we have. Women in many other countries still do not have the freedom we have. I don’t want to discount the fact that there are a lot of people here in the US who don’t even have bare necessities, but at least our country allows us the chance. Our strength, determination and fitness is something to be proud of, not covered up and hidden. Or, forbidden.

Women like Sarah Attar, an 800-meter runner from Saudi Arabia, realize that it’s unlikely they will find themselves on the podium, but that’s not really why they’re there. They are there to inspire other women from their country. These women, some of whom must compete covered head to toe with only their face showing, should be examples for all women. The Olympics provide a unique opportunity for athletes from vastly different circumstances come together and compete on the world stage. The athletes aren’t coming from equal playing fields, but at least they are able to bring pride to countries and inspire people to go after their dream.

It’s been reported many times now that if the US women Olympians were counted as their own country, they’d come in 3rd in the medal count. I can only hope that the last two weeks have energized and inspired countless girls and women around this country. The women of our Olympic team have shown limitless strength, passion and determination. And even more, it’s been amazing to see the athletes, who usually compete as individuals, excel as part of a team. From the track to the pool to the volleyball court and even the boxing ring, what’s happened across the pond has been pretty spectacular.

  • What was your favorite part of the Games?

Hard to choose just one, but watching the USA women win the 4x400 relay Saturday night was pretty awesome.

  • Did you learn anything new this Olympics?

I learned that canoeing is an Olympic sport. And also rhythmic gymnastics. Hmmm.

  • What were the highlights of your weekend?

Summer Streets and going to Chobani SoHo


Today’s workout -

  • 40min elliptical
  • 100 ab exercises
  • 3x10 upright row
  • 3x10 lat pull down
  • 3x10 box step ups
  • 1x50 sec plank
  • 3x10 bridge
  • stretching


Amanda Loudin said...

It does kill me that it's 2012 and we're still playing catch up. Baby steps, I guess!

Lisa_earlymorningrun said...

I definitely agree that it's late happening, but it's a step in the right direction!

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