Written by: Scott
Edited by: Lucas
Visual by: Issy
As some of you may know, this March is Women’s history month. Now, Women’s history does not only extend to social or economical aspects of our society, but also to the sporting world as well. Women have been told they couldn’t manage a business or draw a fanbase in their sporting or even that their male counterparts were more fit for a job. Rather than simply staying at home, these 5 women overcame the societal standards and are now successful as athletes, agents, managers, and role models.
Rachel Luba (BeyondtheBoxScore)
Rachel Luba is a prime example of a woman exceeding all expectations as she is a collegiate gymnast turned baseball agent. While she herself was a level 10 gymnast champion she never made it to the olympic level which was the next step up. However, Luba is the definition of a hard worker graduating college and graduate school early. This efficient lifestyle has inked her jobs with the MLB and allowed her to create her own sports agency: Luba Sports. Some of Luba Sports’ highly regarded players include Yasiel Puig and Trevor Bauer of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The latter of which just signed a record-breaking, three-year $102 million contract, which is a testament to the agency’s power. Once told that a female will never make it as a baseball agent, Luba has clearly defied prejudice and made a name for herself within the industry. She is now in Forbes 30 under 30 prestigious list.
Misty Copeland (DanceLand)
From living with her 5 siblings and mother in a single motel room to performing with the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is the epitome of the American Dream. She began dancing at the age of 13 which is quite late for aspiring dancers showing the true colors of perseverance. A trait capable of inspiring many other girls to never give up their talents be it dancing or other forms of talent. Copeland, a young African American woman, was told at a young age she didn’t have the “right body” for ballet, a predominately white art form. In 2015, Copeland was promoted to principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre making her the first female african-american dancer to do so. Today, she still dances and inspires the next generation of female dancers that the American dream is real.
Paige Alms (FreeSurf Magazine)
She dominates the “Jaws” world, an infamous surfing event that takes place off the shore of Pe’ahi, Maui. Her name is Paige Alms. The Hawaiian-born surfer is a 3-time Jaws winner and has established herself as a household surfing name. Off the waves, Alms is a huge advocate for leveling the gender pay gap which transcends the boundaries of surfing to most industries. She also hopes to inspire young and aspiring female athletes and to compete with men in co-ed competitions. Alms is clearly a surfer that does not only break waves but cultural and social boundaries as well.
Maria Sharapova (Forbes)
Unlike Copeland, Sharapova found her talent at an early stage in life. The Russian former professional tennis player was given a racket at the age of 4, and since then tennis has always held a special place in her heart. The success was prominent during her 18 year professional career that began at the age of 14 in 2001. Sharapova is one of 10 women and the only russian to achieve the prestigious grand slam, which entails winning all 4 grand slam tennis events in one year. For 11 years during her career, Forbes named Maria Sharapova as the highest paid female athlete in the world . This platform allowed for the tennis star to launch a new programme in 2018 focused on mentoring women entrepreneurs. Her impact on women is not something isolated to the sporting world but a gesture heard by all women aspiring to innovate and create.
Tirunesh Dibaba (WorldAthletics)
Tirunesh Dibaba, an Ethiopian long distance runner, goes the distance both around the track and as a role model. Tirunesh has many world records across 3 different events, placed gold at the Olympics 3 times, holds the 5th fastest women’s marathon time of all time, and has made her case to be considered for the greatest female long distance runner of all time. What makes her stand out is what she has been able to accomplish through the thick and thin of motherhood. A long distance runner must maintain a strict body shape, a body shape that is tampered with during the process of giving birth. What is shocking to her fanbase is that Tirunesh’s times on the track improved even after her pregnancy. In fact, her historical marathon run in 2017 came after the birth of her son in 2015. Her successes on the track have made her a role model to all young female athletes who wish to have a family during their careers.
All in all, these 5 women have shown determination and stood above the rest in their respective sports. However, their examples have transcended sport and inspired many women to follow their dreams. Luba, Copeland, Alms, Sharapova, and Tirunesh have all given women the answer to the common idea: “A woman can’t do this job.” That answer is, “Why not?”