After a day like Wednesday, the rest of the week seems painfully ordinary. When I told my friend this, she said I sounded like Timmy Turner asking for Christmas every day.
National Girls and Women in Sports Day may not have been Christmas, but it was a gift.
As a journalism major, I’m supposed to have a way with words, which is why I make it my business to own all of my opponents in Words With Friends, Scrabble, and Bananagrams. However, I realized yesterday I couldn’t tell a single story about the day without repeatedly using the words “great” and “amazing.”
Whether I was relaying Lillian Greene-Chamberlain’s sports and advocacy stories, bragging about meeting Barbara Mikulski or talking about how Representative Linda Sanchez can talk some serious softball, I couldn’t help reiterating those same words.
I was moved by the passion of NGWSD coalition members like Neena Chaudhry and Chandelle Schulte and the enthusiasm of panelists Veronica Hanc and Betsey Stevenson.
It was great. The women I met were amazing.
They have had to be amazing because, as Greene-Chamberlain said Wednesday, “when you’re a pioneer, you can’t make mistakes.”
Greene-Chamberlain and other champions of Title IX have inspired generations of young girls and women to pursue their dreams, athletically and academically. As advocates for women and girls, they have transcended athletics and changed the direction of sport history.
Who knows if there would have been a Grete Eliassen or Sarah Hughes without people like Lillian Greene-Chamberlain, Donna de Varona, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, or Nancy Hogshead-Makar?
“Making an impact beyond just my sport is what it’s all about,” said six-time Winter X Games medalist Grete Eliassen in her panel remarks.
Eliassen recognized both the people who have come before her and the young girls who will follow her, such as young athletes like Veronica who love to play the game.
To use my favorite sports analogy, she recognized the pass before the assist.
I’m honored to have been part of a team filled with a roster of pioneers who recognize the past achievements of girls and women in sport and work tirelessly, from the playing fields to the boardrooms, to ensure that more girls and women have opportunities to play.
Witnessing this pass before the assist yesterday was witnessing greatness. It was amazing. It was a gift.
There are no other words…