SELF’s Fave Moments from the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Awards
Last night, the Women’s Sports Foundation fêted more than 70 athletes at its annual Salute to Women in Sports at the glitzy Cipriani in downtown Manhattan. And even though the Federal Reserve Bank was down the street, we’re pretty sure there was more gold in the ballroom. Find out what we loved the most about last night!
Alex Morgan, Duh: This past Olympics was a watershed moment for U.S. women’s soccer – it totally eclipsed its male counterpart in excitement and buzz. And Morgan was at the center of it, and particularly her noggin. No one can forget her ridiculous goal-scoring header in the last minutes of their game against Canada to take her team to the gold medal match that they then won against arch rival Japan. Many of her teammates were there cheering her on as she received the Sportswoman of the Year for a team sport. Morgan gave us advice we can use when we want to skip our AM workout: “Always know your opponent is working just as hard and not taking the day off.”
Wow, Gold and Biceps: Those were our thoughts upon meeting Kayla Harrison, who was the first U.S. athlete to bring home gold in Judo, male or female. Last night she took home the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award. Next time you need to get amped, borrow her mantra: “This is my day. This is my purpose. I’m not afraid to win.”
Happy 40th anniversary, Title IX: The gala night celebrated the landmark law that bans sex discrimination in schools. It’s how a whole crop of female athletes got their start. And you reap what you sow: if the U.S. women Olympians were their own country, they would have been third in the gold medal count. Give that a minute to sink in.
Idolizing Billie Jean King: She’s a badass on and off the tennis court. In 1973, she beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, and the next year she founded the Women’s Sports Foundation. Now her game is helping the lives of girls through sports (and fight the obesity crisis). She tells SELF that by age 14, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys. So not ok. Get your butts out there, girls!
Gabby’s Perfect Ten: We love us some Gabrielle Douglas–who was clad in gold, wearing two Golds and flanked by her mom and sister to receive the Sportswoman of the Year for an individual sport. How does she stay calm on such a freaking big stage? She tells herself this: “I can do it. I don’t doubt myself. I believe in myself. I’ve done it a thousand times in the gym.”
The New Old School, Spotted: We were, like, giddy to chat with retired gymnast Nastia Liukin. She has advice for those of us who will never be on ESPN: Big leaps in progress don’t happen at your next race, but rather during some random training workout, when you have to work extra hard to push through. “If you set goals for yourself, those are the days you really have to get going.” Amen, sister!
Treat Yo Self: How did the 6’1 swimming phenom Missy Franklin celebrate her off-the-hook Olympic debut? “M&M’s McFlurry!”
Thinking Beyond London: Olympics are awesome. But female athletes are out there doing their thing even when the world isn’t watching. Like pro rock climber Sasha DiGiulian, seen here climbing crazy ascent “Pure Imagination.” Yeah, she sat at our table. How lucky are we?!
BONUS MOMENT: Soccer Star Julie Foudy stops by the SELF offices to chat with our Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Danziger, on the eve of the awards–and we caught it all on video. Watch Julie (follow her on Twitter, too) discuss her leadership fund and the 2012 JFSLA Choose to Matter contest.
For more on this story, please click here.