July 26, 2021

Two Moments of Female Empowerment at the Olympics.


The German gymnastics team took a stance against sexualization in sports, and 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya won a gold medal—what a day at the Olympics.

If someone told me 20 years ago that skateboarding could be part of the Olympics, I would have laughed at them. But it’s 2021, and we just saw the first Olympic skateboarding event.

And it started with a heartwarming story for Japanese local Momiji Nishiya, who became one of the youngest athletes ever to win a gold medal. After winning, she said, “I didn’t think I could win, but everyone around me cheered me on, so I’m glad I was able to find my groove.”

I am pretty sure that she will inspire a generation of girls in Japan to start skateboarding—and who knows, maybe even around the world? Maybe it will make it easier for Japanese parents to accept their daughter’s desire to practice a sport that is known to encourage rebellious and individualistic behavior.

Momiji Nishiya definitely helped the acceptance of the sport in Japan with her gold medal.

And let’s not forget about Rayssa Leal from Brazil who won the silver medal—two 13-year-olds taking the podium, what a day.

The second moment that caught my attention happened at the women’s gymnastics event—and it surprised me even more than a 13-year-old winning the skateboarding competition.

The German gymnastics team didn’t win the gold medal, but they definitely won the hearts of millions of women (and men) around the globe. Probably inspired by the story of the Norwegian Handball team, the German gymnasts decided to wear full-body suits at the competition as a statement against sexist double standards in sports.

Let’s hope that other athletes will do the same thing soon. I think that every athlete should be able to choose their outfit when competing. It is sad enough that we even have to have that conversation in 2021, but I am glad that it’s finally getting the deserved attention.

We are only in week one of the 2020 Olympics (they didn’t change the name after it was postponed to 2021), and so much has happened already.

A Costa Rican surfer got his heart broken after not making it to the competition in time, a Japanese girl shocked the world elite of skateboarding by taking the gold medal, and the German gymnasts might have started the most important conversation in today’s sports.

What’s going to happen next?

I would love to see Naomi Osaka winning gold for Japan after withdrawing from the French Open earlier this year after getting bullied by the media and publicly discussing her depression.

If Momiji Nishiya and Naomi Osaka become the heroes of the Olympics in Tokyo, it could have a huge impact on how Japanese society looks at people dealing with mental health issues and role models in general—these two could inspire a shift of values in one of the most traditionalist societies on the planet.

What was your favorite moment at the Olympics so far? What are you looking forward to? Who is your hero?

Please let me know in the comment section—and if you feel inspired, please share your take on the Olympics with us here.



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