GLADIATHERS & SUPERHEROES
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.
Super Heroic Inspiration, Michelle Carter: Michelle Carter inspires people to be themselves even if it doesn’t fit traditional standards or expectations.
Michelle Carter is the reigning Olympic champion in shot put. She is also the American record holder (20.63m) and first American woman to medal in the event. Beyond proving her athletic prowess on the world stage, Carter (known as the ShotDiva on Instagram) is inspiring the world to love themselves and embrace their bodies. She teaches us to find beauty within ourselves and lets female athletes know that it’s ok to care about your hair and make-up while annihilating your competition. Beauty and strength do mix.
Super Heroic Recovery, Picabo Street: Picabo Street endured potentially career-ending injuries but refused to be stopped, teaching us that bionic women do exist.
In 1994 Picabo Street won an Olympic silver medal in the downhill event. She went on win World Cup and Championship titles in 1995 and 1996. Later in 1996, she suffered a knee injury that kept her out of the 1997 season. Street returned the next year and won a gold medal win in the super G at the 1998 Winter Olympics. A month later she careened off course while racing and crashed, snapping her left femur into two and tearing a ligament in her right knee. After rehabilitating for two years, Street returned to racing and performed well until retiring after the 2002 Olympics with nine career wins. She showed us that true superheroes get back up after they fall.
Super Heroic Rivalry, Chris Evert & Martina Navratilova: These women have given us one of sports most memorable rivalries and taught us that competition and friendship can co-exist.
For a whopping 15 years, tennis goddesses Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova captivated fans with a rivalry for the history books. They played one another 80 times, 60 of which had tournament title on the line. With six more wins than her friend and nemesis, Navratilova won the rivalry with an overall 43-37 career record over Evert. Navratilova was also 10-4 over Evert in Grand Slam finals. Navratilova and Evert showed us that women can have enduring competitive spirits while building lasting friendships.
Super heroic Feats, Sarah Brown: Sarah Brown has shown that women can do amazing, otherworldly things with their bodies.
Sarah Brown is one of America’s top distance runners. She had dreams of being a member of the U.S. Olympic team in Rio. She also happened to learn about a year before the Olympic trials that she was pregnant. Rather than give up on quite possibly her last chance to try out for an Olympic team, Brown decided to forge ahead with her dream to be an Olympian and a mother. She trained for the Olympics throughout her pregnancy and an astonishing four months after giving birth, she competed in the U.S. Olympic trials. Although her bid was unsuccessful, she inspired a nation and proved the women, even pregnant ones, can do anything they set their minds to.
These women and many, many others constantly show us how powerful women really are. Whenever you need to believe in the super powers, just take a look at the sports world; you’ll find countless women doing super human things all the time.
Who are some of your favorite superheroes posing as GladiatHers®? Let us know in the comments section and don’t forget to share by clicking one of the links below!