It is pretty amazing that Simone and Gabby are the U.S. representatives for the all-around in this year’s world championships. These two young ladies continue to break barriers and make gymnastics history. Simone may become the second female gymnast in history to win three World all-around titles, and the first to do so consecutively. Gabby becomes the first Olympic all-around champion to compete at a world championships since Yelena Davydova in 1981.
History is up for grabs in Glasgow. No matter the results, Team USA continues to lead the pack! Good luck, ladies!
With fellow gymnasts at the Athlete Summit; with fellow attendees at the WSF red carpet in New York City.
This week, the Women’s Sports Foundation held its 36th Annual Salute to Women in Sports! Every year, top athletes across all sports gather to celebrate current athletes as well as continue advocating and educating for the next, rising generation of athletes. This year, honorees included athletes from 18 sports and six countries. Congratulations to the winners: Serena Williams, Tatyana McFadden, Carli Lloyd, and Don Sabo!
(With Women’s Sports Foundation CEO Deborah Slaner Larkin in New York City, October 2015)
I recently attended the M2Moms Conference in New York alongside the Women’s Sports Foundation. As a mother to two young boys who are very active in sports, and as a former athlete, I know firsthand that mothers are, indeed, the driving force when it comes to youth participation in athletics. According to research by the Women’s Sports Foundation, mothers tend to be “the most encouraging” voices among a young athlete’s supporters. When a child is actively involved in sports, it may lead to higher levels of family satisfaction. It’s a win-win for all. Moms, it may feel like your children “call the shots” when it comes to their activities, but don’t underestimate the importance of your support and encouragement.
The timing couldn’t be more perfect—in 2016, an Olympic year and WHGF’s 20th anniversary—the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation is expanding, and will open a second location in Detroit, Michigan.
As a Detroit native, I benefited firsthand from the city’s athletic programs early in my rhythmic gymnastics career as a product of the Detroit Recreation Center. Now, as the city undertakes massive revitalization efforts, it’s more important than ever to make sure that those efforts include programs for the city’s youths.
Gymnastics, as a nontraditional sport, allows children the possibility to participate and move up more quickly than in super-competitive sports such as basketball and football. It also has numerous long-term benefits, and this expansion is a long-term investment in the demographic that needs it the most—and is often overlooked by developers during urban redevelopment. It is our hope that WHGF’s presence in Detroit will expand opportunities for children for years to come, just as it has for thousands of youths in Harlem.