Being a woman in this world has always come with an infinite set of frustrating challenges. We are raised to act and 'look' lady-like, to be neat and smart and to behave 'appropriately'. We are taught (often by example or by media) to be nurturing, to be planners and to be forever conscious of our own gentile nature. And yet, during this time of summer Olympic fever, all I am seeing are beasts and bosses of the female variety and it is giving me every bit of LIFE! Women are out here kicking ass and giving no fucks about their perceived 'femininity'.
Watching all of these Olympians (both men and women) set their bodies and minds to full throttle for the sake of their teams and national pride is a sight to behold. Seriously. It's awe-inspiring. Regardless of the skill or type of sport, the sheer maximum effort exerted reads loud and clear from these athletes... Particularly, the women. They came to play. They've clearly trained hard and sacrificed countless hours of free time and 'normalcy' to train and chase their Olympic dreams. And for many of them, notably our beloved Canadian female athletes... it's paying off!!! We're now five days into the Rio 2016 Olympics, and so far Canada has earned five medals - four of which were earned by female athletes (in both individual and team competitions). Yup... the girls are out here taking all of the shine and it's awesome to watch.
Needless to say, I don't remember the last time I felt so proud to be both a Canadian and a woman in the same breath. Oh wait, yes I do: Who remembers that brief period of time when Canadian girl, Rachel McAdams dated Ryan Gosling IRL (in real life, post-Notebook)? Swoon. A unanimous win for Canuck-women everywhere. Hey, girl!
These women are young phenoms who haven't even yet hit the primes of their lives (age-wise); and yet, here they are - living out dreams that would take most of us a lifetime to accomplish,. Despite their enviable genetic makeup, these super athletes clearly decided at very early stages in their lives that they had a huge end goal in mind, and they set out to do the damn thing ever since. While most other youths were spending their summers and after school hours fraternizing with friends and being kids, these young women dedicated themselves to building on their talent. They pushed down their natural inclination and right to be 'regular' in favour of POSSIBLY being extraordinary. I stress the word "possibly" because the chances of anyone, let alone a female, becoming an Olympian is... well, pretty darn slim.
That being said - to see these super women shine bright and sacrifice their bodies without trading in their strength for sex appeal is really dope to watch. The array of body types that these women display is refreshing... especially when you get to see them in action. Six foot plus leaned out female swimmers. Four foot plus muscular gymnasts. Rugged female rugby players with legs like stallions. They all dominate in their respective sports, without reinforcing the traditional views of what it means to be feminine. They all perform at high levels like the beasts that they are, but at the end of the day... once the competition is over, they are women... just like the rest of us. Painted nails, and all.
Watching the Olympic performances of young phenoms like 6'1" Canadian swimmer, Penny Oleksiak, and 4'8" US gymnast, Simone Biles is honestly awe-inspiring. Unapologetic in their different strengths and statures, each of them currently represents the top of the top of their nation's Olympic teams, and neither seems at all phased or concerned with how their looks are perceived. It's quite clear that the only thing on their minds is the sport that chose them and how to dominate within it.
These young ladies are changing the Games. Literally. And you gon' respect their grind.