Olympic Athlete’s Land “Glamour” Magazine’s Women of the Year Honors
Added by Shannon Hovan on November 6, 2012.
This month’s issue of Glamour magazine bestowed the honor of “Women of the Year” to fifteen well-deserving women, across varying professions and industries. Olympic athletes rightfully occupy five of those seats.
Two teenagers who burst on the scene throughout the London Games – Gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin – are athletes who captured the attention and hearts of many back home with their profound skill and competitiveness, which helped them grab 6 gold medals combined. Not bad for a couple of kids who were only two years old when Titanic was released. Not to mention, they are two of the most humble, well-spoken and well-mannered teenagers I have ever seen. Anyone who watched the Games this Summer would certainly agree. Both girls possess a bubbly-ness that made it impossible to not root for them. Their success in London had us at home asking ourselves, “What was I doing at age 16?” Certainly not winning Gold medals. What is most exciting, perhaps, is that we’ll be rooting for them for years to come. Whether it be in the arena, in the swimming pool, or as advocates for Women’s Sports. A new generation of female athletes will aspire to be like Missy and Gabby, much like my generation wished to be like Mia Hamm or Rebecca Lobo.
Critic her style of play all you like, but if there is one women’s soccer player I want on my side during an Olympic Gold medal match, it’s Carli Lloyd. Lloyd scored the game winner in the 2008 gold medal match in Beijing, and netted both goals for the US in the Gold medal match this Summer in London. Do the math, if Lloyd doesn’t score, the US Women’s pockets are two Gold medals lighter. Any devout followers of the US Women’s National Team can’t argue Lloyd’s work ethic, training regularly when not in National Team camp at Universal Soccer Academy in her home state of New Jersey. As a result, she just might be one of the most clutch goal scorers US Soccer has ever seen.
No one expected her to win. She didn’t even expect herself to win. So, when Kayla Harrison defeated young Brit Gemma Gibbons in the Gold medal match for Women’s judo, it was more than she could handle. Not only did that moment carry the elation of a first individual Olympic Gold medal for Harrison, but also of the first Gold medal won by an American in judo, ever. At the young age of 22, it very well may not be her last.
The 200 meters is Allyson Felix’s baby. It’s her specialty. Her niche. Her passion. But, until this Summer, she didn’t have a Gold medal to prove it. In 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing, Felix crossed the line 2nd, both times, behind Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica. Giving her two Silver medals, a prize not nearly as shiny as Gold. But, along with adding to her already hefty group of track and field medals, those two Silvers provided competitive fuel that would span 8 years, between 2004 and 2012 when she would finally claim what was rightfully hers: 200 meter Gold.
If these five, elite, female athletes were their own country competing in the London Games, they would have placed an astounding 5th in the Gold medal count, claiming 11 Gold medals total. This would have tied them with powerhouse countries Germany and France, who both have populations of over 65 million people. Think about that for a second. Five of our female Olympians won more gold medals than 74 of the 79 countries that claimed medals. And, without their 11 medals, the US would drop to second in the overall medal count behind China. So, I say this to you world, never underestimate the power of a woman.