There are so many reasons why I love the Olympics. Watching elite athletes from all over the world, knowing that many of them have dedicated their life to this very moment is inspirational in itself. Being able to feel, through my TV, the national pride of every country as they compete in events often gives me goosebumps. Seeing athletes up on those podiums, being presented with their Olympic medals is awe inspiring to say the least, and often makes me tear up a little bit (I know, I’m a big baby).
But one of the things I love the most about the Olympics are the female athletes. Strong, beautiful women who train like it’s their job (for some, it is), and who have been working towards this day for years, are about to compete in every sport from gymnastics, to soccer, to volleyball, and everything in between. With all of the negativity that often surrounds female athletes and strong women, I wanted to take today to celebrate just a small percentage of the awesome ladies that are about to compete for the US in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
LoLo Jones, USA Women’s Track and Field
Jessica Hardy, USA Women’s Swimming
Jordan Larson, USA Women’s Volleyball
Tobin Heath, USA Women’s Soccer
Alex Morgan, USA Women’s Soccer
As noted above, to get to this level, these women train more than most of us could ever dream of. They lift weights (heavy ones), they do sprints, plyos, and anything else to give them a competitive edge. And you know what? They are not bulky, manly, or masculine, terms that are often thrown around when referring to women who lift weights. (And if you think they are, you need to get your eyesight checked. Or your brain.) No, I can think of many more appropriate adjectives for these women: beautiful, inspirational, strong, motivational, athletic, graceful… The list goes on and on.
There are so many women out there who don’t want to train hard or lift weights because they don’t want to get “bulked up” or “look manly”. I know it’s been said a thousand times, but ladies, using these women as our inspiration, can we leave that mindset behind and please start realizing that strength and beauty can be one in the same. You’ve got all the proof you need in the pictures above, and I could throw a hundred more in there as well, if I had more time!
I hope everyone has a few minutes over the next couple of weeks to really appreciate all of the amazing athletes that are competing in London, male and female. Beauty aside, they all have amazing talent, strength, and determination that has led them to compete, and they deserve our attention and respect for that. I know I’m most excited for swimming, track, and volleyball, but honestly when it comes to the Olympics I’ll watch just about anything!
Do you plan on watching the Olympics? What are your favorite events to watch? Do you have a favorite Olympic athlete?