I ended up sacrificing my body and self-esteem, and for what?
Getting females into sport early matters, the champion says.
She got called "icy" by the press.
While getting equal pay is not a goal that can be reached overnight, it's critical to keep all channels of communication open with both female and male coaches and work through such challenges through honest discussions in a supportive environment. Encourage women on your team or in your department to ask for they want and to build a case for themselves based on merit and reaching set goals. It's important to make the ask.
Sometimes things transpire in international venues that remind us that the fight for gender equality is not only being waged relentlessly, but successfully, and with brilliant achievement. For years we read stories of individual women making their mark by ascending to leadership roles in business, politics, entertainment, non-profit, and in media, among many other fields.
Who run the world?
This week, my friend and fellow Olympic champ boatsman, Adam Kreek, made a mistake that I hope can prove to be a learning experience. While chatting with Ron McLean on CBC television, he expressed his opinion that Eugenie Bouchard may not be committed to winning, evidenced by her selfies, interest in fashion and social media presence. To add fuel to the fire, when three fellow Olympians whom I admire very much -- Marnie McBean, Chandra Crawford and Annamay Pierse -- expressed concern over Twitter, he emphatically defended his commentary.
Through unrelenting determination and sheer talent, you finally reach the world's greatest theatre of athleticism -- a level of competition few ever reach. You are an Olympian. Then you see it: the headline describing your victory reads, "Wife of a Bears' lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics."
Women's hockey is evolving and the divide between female and male athletes is blurring. Canadians are viewing female athletes as just that, athletes. We're not satisfied with the notion of "they play well for a girls team." Female competitors play well, period.
I felt like I was daring myself to cross some arbitrary line in the sand, and once I did, there would be no turning back. Canadians' perceptions of who I was, and certainly their knowledge of my life story, would be forever altered. Even if only a few dozen people heard my story, it felt big to share personally and publicly.