Dragonwing Girl Blog
Happy birthday to Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast, male or female, to receive a perfect score, a 10, in an Olympic event. She won three gold medal at the 1976 Olympics and an additional two at the 1980 Olympics. Named one of the athletes of the century by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Romanian has won nine gold medals at European Championships and two at World Championships.
But the most powerful aspect of the Women's World Cup -- the part that brings a lump to my throat -- is the inspiration, hope, and role models that the players provide to millions of girls worldwide. Their commitment, perseverance, and love of the game says it all: "DREAM BIG. WORK HARD. COMPETE FIERCELY. PLAY JOYFULLY. YOU CAN DO IT!"In addition to all the amazing soccer play (how about England's go-ahead goal versus Norway?!), there have been some perceptive and thought-provoking stories about the significance and value of the Women's World Cup. Here are a few that I've particularly enjoyed: "Why the Women's World Cup Needs You to Watch," by Peter Macia in Vogue magazine The numbers of viewers, on TV and online, are vitally important, Macia argues, to sponsors, to players, to women's sports in general, and to girls watching and playing around the world. (There's that inspiration again!) "What Women's Sports Can Learn from the Colombian Women's Team," by Kate Fagan on ESPNW Given the audiences in stadiums and watching the games on screens of all kinds, there are signs of legitimacy for international women's soccer, writes Fagan. But "the final mile marker will be when everyday fans…feel comfortable offering criticism, second-guessing the coach and the choices, and putting the play itself under a microscope…. These are the conversations that fuel men's sports.
Imagine being knowledgeable enough about women's sports and knowing enough about a women's team to think you know better than the coach or a player in the game's closing minutes. Imagine knowing who else could have been the coach and which players the team might have signed. Then imagine being confident enough to actually admit you're into women's sports.""8 Reasons We Love the Women's World Cup," by SoccerGrlProbs for ESPNW World-class talent, worldwide impact, super fans and more.