With June being Pride Month, we wanted to know how others would be prioritizing this…
We wake up and start most days the same way: eating a hearty breakfast; drinking coffee; brushing our teeth; getting ready for the day. Soon after we head out for a training session on the field, to the gym, or for a long road ride. Pushing our bodies to places only certain people have the mental strength for… Pushing beyond what we even believe sometimes… Surprising ourselves along the way. This ability to embrace the depths of pain; to create new levels of potential on a daily basis; THIS is what we thrive on!
One challenge we face, however, has absolutely nothing to do with the physical or mental demands we confront as women. This challenge is equality. Simply because we are females, we don’t get paid the same, we can’t play on certain teams even if we prove we have the skillset to compete, and we aren’t given the same respect in the media. Equality has come a long way, but it is nowhere near where it should be. Both of us have been personally victimized by this lack of equality in sport, and want to keep pushing barriers to create social change.
All we can do is be the best role models possible for the next generation: standing up for what we believe in (even if that means having confrontational conversations), and inspire those that will come after us to be proud of who they are and stand tall for what they value. Project Athlete is about embracing yourself – this is how we are tackling social change. It has taken years for both of us to come to this understanding: seeing the VALUES in our failures. Only then can you turn that failure into power, confidence, and eventually, success. We are about embracing the project in all of us; we’re all a part of a bigger picture! Everyone can find strength in their small misfortunes, laugh along the way, and work together to make the change happen.
Stephanie Labbe – Canadian National Soccer Team – Bronze Medal at the Rio Olympics – also played on Swedish and American pro teams; making waves for women by playing on a men’s pro team
Georgia Simmerling – Canadian National Track Cyclist – Bronze Medal at the Rio Olympics – first Canadian to compete in 3 different Olympics in 3 different sports (alpine, ski cross, and track cycling)