Katy McLean is the 30 year old athlete taking on the Rio Olympics representing Great Britain playing rugby... what does she have to say to young women?
"I started in a very small town in South Shields that lots of people have never heard of, playing a sport that girls didn't play. It was a sport for men, and women didn't do it. I'd like [my former students] to take away that you can do whatever you set your mind to -- it makes no difference who you are, where you're from or your family background, as long as you're prepared to work hard and not back down. I really don't care what people think."
quote + images courtesy of ESPN
First off, let's mention that this is the first year that women's rugby is being featured in the Olympics...
... which is 92 years since women's rugby has been in the Olymics...
This is not only amazing for Katy McLean and her teammates but also for all females who continue to fight for their right for equal sports opportunities and representation all over the world!
This summer Katy McLean will be one of the many over accomplished women breaking female stereotypes all over the world.
"Playing like a girl," is taking on a whole new meaning this summer.
Katy has doubled as Great Britain's rugby star captain and a teacher until just 2014. She won the World Cup with her teammates while juggling her full time job.
Nowadays, she spends her time completely dedicated to the sport and is competing in the Rio Summer Olympics 2016.
Amazingly, McLean and her sevens team were playing as an amateur level team until winning the 2014 World Cup.
Following their win, they were offered professional contracts and began their full-time careers as Great Britain's star women's rugby team.
At 12 years old, she was forced to turn away from the sport that she loved because she was no longer permitted to compete with the all boys teams.
Since there were no all girls teams in her area, it took until she began junior college at 16 to resume playing after being scouted.
However, the opportunity to play professionally was still not an option. Therefore, she graduated school with sports studies and returned as a teacher after graduating in 2007.
Watch her get wrestle for the gold medal tomorrow in the Rio Olympics!!! Support a woman who broke against the norm and became the front runner in most inspirational female athletes competing in this year's summer Olympics!
Information and Images Courtesy of ESPNW and others:
- Sienna Pagett