“By simply existing in spaces that weren’t built for us, women athletes are doing something revolutionary.”
This week's blog consists of a list of three dynamic duos who have broken barriers on and off the court or field.
1. Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
Megan and Sue are the definition of a DYNAMIC DUO, the perfect power partnership. The duo was the first openly gay couple to be featured on the front cover of ESPN The Magazine's iconic Body Issue. Between them, they have over 2.5 million followers on Instagram and 1.1 on Twitter. Megan is one of the most followed female athletes.
Both can be seen attending each other's games when they are not playing themselves. Just last year Megan led the US Women’s National Soccer Team to their second consecutive World Cup victory. Sue was in the stands to watch! This year Megan got to repay Sue and watch her lead the Seattle Storm WNBA team to her 4th title. Sue dominated while in the Wubble (WNBA Bubble) both on the court and in her fight for social justice.
During the 2020 WNBA season, the players dedicated the entire season to social justice and Breonna Taylor, whose name they wore on the back of their jerseys. Sue co-wrote an essay on PhenomenalMedia.com with fellow WNBA player Nneka Ogwumike, outlining what this season meant to them and why they decided to dedicate it to social justice.
Sue pointed out that “it wasn't so long ago that the simple act of a woman participating in sports was considered radical.” Sue is an advocate for featuring more women in sports broadcasting as well as sponsorships. She states that “just four percent of sports media and less than one percent of sports sponsorship spending is devoted to women in sports.” Sue is not one to stand down for the fight for justice and equality and neither is Megan.
As one of the most influential players in sports right now, Megan is used to speaking up and using her voice to create change. Megan is a forward on the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Having just won the most recent World Cup and MVP of the tournament, she has been the feature of many ESPN shows and articles. Much like Sue, Megan is more than just a soccer player. When she isn’t dominating on the pitch Megan is speaking up about voting, equal pay for women, as well as rights for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Most recently Megan was the feature and voice of Nike's YOU CAN'T STOP US ad campaign. With 60+ million views in counting, she can be heard in the commercial giving a speech after the world cup. In that speech, Megan says that “we have a responsibility to make the world a better place… because nothing can stop what we can do together. Megan and many of her teammates fought for equal pay in 2019 suing U.S. Soccer. The USWNT sought almost $67 Million in their Equal Pay lawsuit. Sadly the court dismissed the case but their fight won’t stop.
One thing is for sure about this power couple, they don’t back down easy and are very DYNAMIC in fighting for social justice and equal rights. Together they are an unstoppable force of change.
2. Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle
Before there was Megan and Sue there was Abby and Glennon.
Abby is a retired U.S. Women’s National Team, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a World Cup Champion, and was named the 2012 FIFA World Cup Player of the Year. Since retiring Abby has co-founded the leadership development training program Wolfpack Endeavor. She is a best-selling author having written two books and is now raising 3 kids, all while being one of the most in-demand public speakers in America.
Her wife Glennon is also a writer and a business women. She founded and runs the popular online blog Momastery and is a best-selling author with 3 books to her name. To add to all of that she also runs the non-profit Together Rising, which “transforms collective heartbreak into effective action.”
If what was listed above didn't impress you enough, both Abby and Glennon were feature speakers in this year's virtual ESPNW Women + Sports Summit. The Summit unites world-class leaders in sports and business on and off the field in order to create change and opportunities for women in sports. The couple advocates for women's leadership development and rights in the workplace. Glennon was dubbed a “patron saint of female empowerment” by PEOPLE magazine. Abby was named the epitome of “girl power goals” by GMA. Both are DYNAMIC leaders in both the business world and sports world-changing the landscape of the industry for the women behind them!
3. Juile Foudy and Lynn Olszowy
Julie Foudy and Lynn Olszowy are the DYNAMIC DUO responsible for the ESPN podcast, Laughter Permitted. Their podcast features “fun, thoughtful, candid conversions with trailblazers in sports about the joy and chaos” of their lives in sports as women. Both are no strangers to chaos and joy in life and in sports.
Foudy is a retired member of the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Through her illustrious career as a midfielder from 1987 to 2004, she finished with 274 caps (appearances in international games) and 3 Olympic medals including 2 gold. As well as 4 FIFA Women’s World Cup medals, winning gold in 1991 and 1999. She was a part of the 99ers who are credited with changing the game of women’s soccer through their run to win gold at the 1999 World Cup.
Nowadays Foudy is a mother of two and can be found broadcasting on networks such as ESPN and ABC. When she is not announcing games on the air she is running the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy, an organization that focuses on sports and leadership for girls. JFSLA was founded in 2006 by Julie and her husband Ian Sawyers and features one week of camps, soccer and lacrosse combined with leadership summits.
Lynn Olszowy is an Emmy award-winning feature producer and writer for ESPN and ESPNW. She has written hundreds of articles that feature women creating change in sports. Lynn met Julie through espnW. Lynn pressed Foudy for two years to create a women-focused sports podcast and thus Laughter Premitted was created.
The duo is starting season four and already has 44 episodes under their belts. With podcast appearances by household names, such as Natalie Portman, Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and many more, Foudy and Olszowy have amassed a following of over 265,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter. Both have been featured during the ESPNW Women + Sports Summits. You could say these two are DYNAMIC in creating change and spotlighting women in sports as a powerful duo.