Why Female Olympians Are Important To Witness In The 2018 Winter Games

Every two years we’re astounded, on a global scale, by the relentless athleticism and dedication of Olympic hopefuls. Whether it be gymnastics and volleyball in the summer, or speed skating and snowboarding in winter, Olympians model national ideals of perseverance and hard work. For young girls, especially in 2018, female role models like this are indispensable.

The news of rampant sexual abuse and assault of female gymnasts by Olympic doctor Larry Nassar brought about fiery reactions. A multitude of criticism rightfully poured out of the American public, hurled at USA Gymnastics for keeping a likely open secret under wraps. Personally, I’m an avid follower of Olympic athletes, particularly these gymnasts during summer. The grace, strength, and agility of these women consistently blows my mind. From Alicia Sacramone to Aly Raisman, I love witnessing their sophistication and poise as they represent the United States abroad, then return home as nationally beloved celebrities. Knowing the influence they had on me as a young girl, the revelations about toxic abusive culture was a heartbreak. As women and Americans, the thought that one person could be guarded and enabled to attack these beloved icons is equally shocking and shameful.

Gold-medalist Long Beach native Chloe Kim.

In the words of Raisman, the brave women that confronted Nassar are only beginning to use their voices. Circumstances do not diminish the female voice and all its potential. Therein lies the true strength -- women themselves are powerful, unable to be silenced. The elegance of athleticism displayed at the Olympics is merely a window into femininity and all its magnitude.

24-year-old Mirai Nagasu celebrates becoming the first American woman to ever land a Triple Axel.

As I watched Mirai Nagasu land that triple axel, the same pride gave me chills. Suddenly I was ten years old, seeing Shawn Johnson take the gold in Beijing. It is that same power that informs female Olympians in every sport, from curling to hockey to bobsledding, that makes PyeongChang so vital to witness. There is an undeniable influence these women have on girls across this country; from the potential of one’s voice to the importance of perseverance, they are living models of what it really means to be an American woman in 2018.