|Me at age 7! I loved to play sports as a young girl|
When I was 9 years old, I packed my bags to witness one of the most inspiring moments in Olympic history.
As I squeezed my fellow teammate’s hands in anticipation, I watched a young Kerri Strug show the world what girl power was all about and land a perfect vault on one leg.
All seven girls on team USA took the podium to receive gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and instantly became heroes to thousands of girls around the world who dreamed of greatness.
Eight years later, Mia Hamm took the U.S. national team to gold status at the 2004 Olympics.
The best athletes in the world (including Girl Up Champion Rebecca Soni!) are taking the stage in front of millions at the 2012 London Olympics. This is the first Olympic Games where each country is sending a woman as part of their delegation.
I am grateful for all the opportunities I have been given in life – from athletics to education. I played multiple sports in elementary school – from basketball to soccer. My mother would tell me how she always wanted to play basketball and soccer, but “back in the day” girls were limited to dance classes and gymnastics, everything else was boys only. At such a young age, I was completely unaware how lucky I was to have these opportunities.
I am reminded of the more than 500 million adolescent girls in the world who do not share these opportunities with me. Many of them struggle for the opportunity just to go to school, see a doctor or enjoy the same activities as men in their communities.
What can you do? Join me and Girl Up to help make a difference!
Every girl deserves to be a champion.