I was going to write this blog post about how the Canadian women have been rocking the Olympics. I’ve been thinking about it all week, planning it out in my head, just waiting for the perfect kid free moment to write it all down.
I mean last Sunday the medal standing was at 12 medals for Canada, all of them earned by women. That day I read this article in the Winnipeg Free Press where Randy Turner made a quip about Canada being a nation of fierce female warriors, and I was both amused and proud. Go Team XX Chromosome! Woot!
I wanted to look down on anyone who has ever said, “you play like a girl” with a sneer or a smirk. I mean, going forward, if anyone is looney enough to suggest that to be “like a girl” is anything less than fierce and fantastic, I would like to direct them towards the results from this year’s Summer Olympics. As I’m writing this the games are winding down to a close and we’re sitting on 22 medals, with 16 of those won by women. 16 out of 22 is definitely nothing to sneer at. Nice work ladies.
But here’s the thing… Yesterday I had this lightbulb moment when I realized that the thing that really matters here is that these athletes gave the performance of their lives, they represented Canada on the global stage and they shined, glory how they shined. These people made me so proud to have them there in Rio representing Canada. So who the heck cares how many of them were men and how many were women?
Always put out a video with Stephanie Labbé, the goalkeeper of the Canadian women’s soccer team, where she talks about working hard, and the frustrations of sometimes not being taken seriously because she is “just” a woman. It’s a truly inspirational video. Take a minute and check it out.
At one point Stephanie says, “I hope that one day we can just see athletes for athletes, and it doesn’t matter, you know, if it’s a male or a female. People are going to respect it the same, and look at it the same level.” Watching that video for the second time, hearing those words, that was my moment of revelation. Maybe I should be cheering for Team Canada, instead of Team XX Chromosome.
I mean I was feeling all patriotic and proud when I overheard a couple of gents on the train talking about Olympic swimmers as not men, or women, but just a group of amazing athletes. Yet I go home and brag about how the Canadian women are showing the men up this year. There’s something wrong there.
Male or female, they’re all just athletes. Athletes who have trained for years and worked their butts off to get to this moment. Athletes who have just given their all on the international field, and deserve this nation’s respect and admiration.
In her article with the Huffington Post Beverly Labbé, Stephanie’s mom, said that she and her daughter are excited to be part of the Like a Girl campaign, because they know how difficult it can be for girls during puberty to maintain and grow self confidence. “Stephanie is living proof that with the right support and encouragement, girls can take on the world.”
Um. Yeah. Heck yeah. Truer words have never been said. But maybe I should take it one step further and say, boys too. Everyone stop, take a look at those people on the podium, and even if sports isn’t your thing, recognize for a moment the hard work, the sheer dedication, and think, I can do this. We got this. Whatever your thing is, run with it, take it to the limits, don’t stop, don’t look back, take on the world. Like a girl. Like a boy. Like a Canadian. Like a freaking fantastic amazing human being. Go. Go on. Let’s see what you can do.
Disclosure: I am an Always Brand Ambassador, and as such will be providing coverage of Always’ sponsored Olympic athlete, Stephanie Labbé. This post was sponsored by P&G. As always, my words and opinions are my own.