In addition to being a Bison, I’m a Bruin through and through. As such, I tend to refrain from giving rival schools much attention or credibility; I like to act like the Pirates and the Trojans really don’t exist. But as much pride as I take in being a graduate of Howard University and the University of California Los Angeles, School of Law, I also take pride in giving credit where credit is due. So it gives me great, great pleasure to give the women of the University of Southern California a huuuuuuge shout out for being members of the best athletic program in the country.
Remember way back in January when I talked to the legendary Candace Parker about how legendary she is and about the Capital One Cup? It was great. Be sure to check it out. As a reminder, every year Capital One awards a Cup and a large chunk of scholarship money to each of the best men’s and women’s Division-I college athletics programs in the country. A few days ago, on October 8th at the Colorado v. USC game, about 200 Women of Troy took the field to claim the Capital One Cup and a fat scholarship check in the amount of $200,000 for being the best student-athletes for the 2015-2016 season. Points toward the Capital One Cup are based on final standings of NCAA Championships and final official coaches’ polls, so these ladies really are the best student-athletes the country has to offer.
Congratulations to the Women of Troy and thanks for showing us what it looks like to be gladiators and GladiatHers® at the same time! Keep up with the current standings for the Capital One Cup here and follow the Women of Troy here.
Images by John McGillen.
It’s not everyday that you meet women who change your life. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to do just that. Sydney Satchell has gone from being a Division-I athlete to an amputee and an inspiration for so many in a relatively short amount of time. She has found the strength, courage and wisdom to turn her adversity into life lessons for so many. I’m honored to share this GladiatHer® Grads story with you.
If you’re into Netflix like I am, there’s a really good chance that you’re captivated by one of its newest series, Luke Cage, or that you’ve already binged watched the entire first season. Luke Cage, also known as Power Man, is a fictional superhero who appeared in comic books published by Marvel Comics. If you don’t happen to follow comic books that closely, but watched Netflix’s other superhero series, Jessica Jones, then you’re already familiar with Cage. If you aren’t familiar with the stories but intend to give them a watch, don’t worry; I won’t spoil the plots. I’ll just say that both Luke Cage and Jessica Jones provide exciting, interesting stories. And, probably most importantly, they show a woman and a person of color in roles as superheroes; stories that are, unfortunately, not frequently told.
Basking in the greatness that are Luke Cage and Jessica Jones led me to think about women in sports and the greatness they give us on a regular basis. Day in and day out, female athletes perform feats that are nothing short of heroic. They inspire others to be great, they bounce back from injuries, battle with archenemies and do awe-inspiring things with their bodies. There’s no denying it, GladiatHers® are our real-life superheroes. So today on GladiatHers.com we’re taking a look at a very short list of some GladiatHers® who live absolutely heroic lives.
We’re closing out the month of September with our GladiatHer® Wives feature! It’s no secret at all how we feel about women and sports; we believe women play vital roles in sports and should be given more opportunities to show their capabilities. Today’s GladiatHer® Wives feature, Danisha Rolle, feels the same way, and for the past eight years she’s been working to make the connection between women and sports even stronger. As a wife, mother and entrepreneur, Danisha is showing the world exactly how vital women are in the sports industry. Have a look at what Danisha has to say:
If you read this blog with any sort of regularity, and by now you definitely should be, you know that I played sports for practically my entire childhood and until I graduated from college. I played tennis through college, ran track until I got to college and played soccer up until I got to high school. Last week, Megan Rapinoe, women from the Indiana Fever and Phoenix Mercury and other women in sports took knees during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustices in the United States. Watching these women and reading the comments sections (note to reader: never read the comments section) under articles about these women took me back to the days where my athletic prowess was on fleek. What dawned on me was that I don’t ever remember having the National Anthem played or flag raised at any of my events. Now maybe my 32-year-old mind is leaving out an occasional occurrence, but I can say with absolute certainty that it was nowhere near routine for the National Anthem to be played or flag to be acknowledged at the tennis matches, track meets or soccer games that I played in from my childhood to early adulthood. But the way Americans have reacted to a handful of athletes kneeling for the Anthem suggests that reverence for Old Glory before sporting events is a time-honored, almost mandatory tradition. So how was I robbed of such a large part of American culture for so long?
Not every athlete becomes legendary. Not every athlete can say that they were one of the greatest in the world. Not every athlete can say that they went beyond their sport and are true activists for change. I know one who can, Jackie. Joyner. Kersee. Not only is Jackie Joyner-Kersee track and field royalty but she is the quintessential activist athlete. She was the first American to win gold in the long jump and the first woman to earn more than 7,000 points in the heptathlon. Her three gold, one silver and two bronze medals were earned over the span of four Olympic Games, but her determination to improve the lives of others has spanned over her entire lifetime. Her Foundation, that has raised over $12 million, improves the lives of children and families in impoverished, often forgotten about East St. Louis. And her latest endeavor is bringing technology to large groups of underserved people. When you talk about athletes who use their platform to bring the change they want to see, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is in fact, one of the greats.