Sports Girl Soccer Player

Celebrating Girls & Women in Sports

Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day! Growing up, I was an avid swimmer and soccer player. I was the girl that went to practice after practice and covered her bedroom walls with sports paraphernalia. I worked my butt off in a small town where my sports weren’t always appreciated, which was so hard. I was lucky enough to have female athletes to look up to though. Whether they were professionals or the high school girls, I always had someone that I could turn to for inspiration. Today, I am even more inspired by female athletes and what they do in and out of the world of sports. 

In 2012 I got to meet my favorite Olympic swimmer of all time, Allison Schmitt. She was everything I dreamed of being as a swimmer and a person. Her personality was bubbly and she always had a smile on her face. I have to say that I was starstruck when I met her. I don’t even remember what I said, or if I said anything at all, but I knew it was the best moment of 13 year-old Hailee’s life. Today, she is still a huge inspiration to me. Her dedication to the sport of swimming and to mental health awareness is unmatched. Her coming forward with her struggles with mental health allowed me to see that how I was feeling, was okay. Not everything is always sunshine and rainbows. I truly appreciate every lesson she has taught me, without her even knowing me.

In an article last year I wrote about the United States Women’s National Team. Oh my, this team. They are incredible leaders in the world of sports and aren’t afraid to tell it how it is. From them I have learned how to speak up for myself, to celebrate my victories (big and small), and to never be afraid of taking on a challenge. They help me see that hard work is worth it, and that I should never sell myself short. Since before I was born, these women have been so much more than just a soccer team.

Everyday I scroll through social media and see a strong, beautiful, athletic, and confident woman on my feed. Whether it be a professional or my friends from back home. They are inspirations in and out of their sports. Today is not the only day to celebrate these women. We need to remember that.