While today is a special day for me seeing as it is my birthday, it is also a very important day for girls all over the USA, and athletes around the world. Today, June 23rd is the anniversary of Title IX and Olympic Day!
What is Title IX and why do I care? Title IX is a law passed on June 23rd 1972 that requires gender equality for boys and girls in all educational programs that are federally financed. Most often we hear Title IX brought up and discussed in issues regarding gender equality in sports, but this is only one of the many important areas of education that Title IX applies to and impacts. I could go on and on about the rules and regulations as well as the impact and improvements that are a result of Title IX. However, I’ll keep it short and sweet in this post. Title IX is important because it forced the world to open its eyes to the power and strength of females. It has resulted in a plethora of opportunities both athletic and nonathletic alike for females of my generation that pervious ones, as recent as my own Mother’s generation were not privy to. I am very thankful for all those who fought, pushed, and advocated for Title IX. The world that I grew up in never doubted or questioned my early childhood Olympic Dreams. And moreover, there were abundant opportunities for me to pursue sports as young as 5 years old straight on through secondary school. I am forever thankful for all my athletic opportunities, I fell in love with the game of soccer when I was a little girl, it is a sport I have always loved and will forever be a fan of. My greatest childhood sports hero was Mia Hamm. Watching her and her US teammates win World Cup Gold in 1999 on tv was amazing. Reading about Mia Hamm’s athletic childhood experiences was an eye opener of just how far female sporting opportunities have come. I take great pride in the fact that I was born on a day when history was made. For more info about Title IX check out these two websites:
June 23rd is also Olympic Day! I guess it’s only fitting that not only am I an Olympic aficionado but an Olympian as well! As stated on Team USA’s website, “Olympic Day is the celebration for youth around the world to observe the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. It is also a celebration of the Olympic Day pillars: move, learn and discover.” People all over the world are encouraged to be active and get moving. The Olympian Association helps Olympians network and set up Olympic Day celebrations in their communities all around the US. For more info about an event in your area checkout the Team USA website.
Did you participate in an Olympic Day Celebration? You may have seen many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls alike tweeting and posting on social media how sports changed their lives and what they did on Olympic Day to bring them one step closer to their own Olympic aspirations. I can still remember watching the 1996 Olympics swept up in awe as Keri Strung stuck her landing, earning Team USA the gold medal. That was the day my Olympic Dream was born. It didn’t matter that I was only 10years old, a good soccer player but in no means exceptional or even great. All that mattered was I became inspired and knew that one day I too wanted to be an Olympian. To me Olympic Day is a reminder to all to dare to dream! Because if you follow your heart and believe in yourself there is an amazing world of experiences waiting. It would be another 4 years before I would be introduced to my Olympic event of race walking, you just never know where the future will take you…hey maybe you too will compete for our country one day!
Ultimately June 23rd is a day celebrated by getting out, being active, and doing something to bring you one step closer to your dream. I may already be an Olympian but the passion burns just as bright as it did 4 years ago. I am almost 1 year out from qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. Today I celebrated my birthday, Title IX, and Olympic Day with my last track workout before USA Outdoor Nationals. No better way to start the day than with a post workout high! What did you do today?