It all began for us on a frozen pond subsequent to our house in a small city in North Dakota. We have been born right into a hockey household, in a hockey state. So, enjoyable meant enjoying hockey with our 4 older brothers and their mates. We rapidly fell head over heels for the game and needed to take our efforts off the pond and onto the rink, however we got here throughout a slight drawback – no women hockey groups, no less than not till we have been slightly bit older. Well, we thought, no drawback. We’ll simply play on boy’s groups.
While enjoying with boys allowed us to take part competitively in a sport we adored, doing so was not at all times simple. Our male counterparts — and their dad and mom — more and more questioned our skills as a result of our gender. This was the primary time we heard feedback alongside these traces, as if we have been much less succesful as a result of we have been women. But it wasn’t the final time — it was just the start. This was our introduction to our studying that ladies and women are preventing to compete on a degree enjoying subject with males in additional than simply sports activities – within the office and in life.
Playing on small-town groups nurtured massive desires, and with laborious work, these massive desires grew to become actuality. While looking back, our massive desires have been audacious (what 8-year-old twins can legitimately dream of enjoying within the Olympics and in the end successful a gold medal collectively?) we didn’t dream that our time competing on the world stage would illuminate the blatant inequalities which ladies in our sport confronted. Early in our careers, we realized that we have been going to need to do extra to be handled equitably — that from the time we put our skates on, we have been already behind.
As our hockey careers skyrocketed, we refused to permit roadblocks and discrimination to discourage us from pursuing gender fairness – even taking over our governing physique, USA Hockey. Along with our teammates, we put our hard-fought careers on the road by threatening to boycott the 2017 World Championships, jeopardizing our capacity to compete within the 2018 Olympics, until we made substantial progress on our calls for for extra equitable remedy. Our actions result in a four-year settlement to offer extra monetary help to gamers, extra equitable remedy in comparison with the lads’s and boy’s applications, extra equitable advertising and marketing and promotional help, and the creation of a ladies’s advisory council to additional help the expansion of ladies’s and lady’s ice hockey in America.
Our success, in addition to that of our staff’s, thrust us into the middle of the battle for gender fairness, each for girls in hockey and sports activities, in addition to society at giant. We quickly observed how the affect of our actions affected others searching for change. One of the teachings from our mom that transcended past sports activities was to cheer for the one behind. When we competed towards one another in sports activities, our mom was confronted with the dilemma of which twin to cheer for. Her resolution was simple, to cheer for the one behind. This grew to become considered one of our rallying cries.
At considered one of our video games, one lady had an indication that mentioned, ‘Thank you for being bold.’ The feeling of mutual respect ran each methods. Our stand could have been constructed round ladies’s hockey and the long-term inequities confronted by the ladies’s nationwide staff, nevertheless it addressed far more, and we have been gratified that so many noticed and felt that. While the specifics of what we have been in a position to accomplish for girls’s hockey symbolize vital strides for our sport, we hope our actions will transcend hockey and sports activities. We hope to encourage all younger athletes, profession ladies, and any others dealing with inequality of their journey to Be Bold, obtain their desires, and at all times cheer for the one behind.
We have at all times believed that successful a gold medal just isn’t the top of our journey. Over time, the person video games will possible fade from recollections. Our medals will probably be talked about. But the adjustments we have now dropped at ladies’s hockey and the alternatives we have now created for women to dream massive, simply as we did, could have a long-lasting affect. They will go down in historical past. And we hope our gold medals will give us an advocacy platform — and that we’ll in the end be remembered for the variations we made in our sport – and for adjustments we have now helped carry to underserved communities across the nation – and the variations we’ll proceed to battle for within the years forward. It is our mission that each lady or girl who picks up a hockey stick is aware of that she will attain greatness, no matter her gender.
Some would possibly measure our accomplishments enjoying hockey by wins, titles, or medals. To us, that will be a waste of all of the laborious work and energy that yielded Olympic success and glory. After we received our gold medals, we skated round an ice rick in South Korea with an American flag draped round our shoulders, hugging one another. True, we shared a milestone second with simply the 2 of us. We had accomplished it collectively. But in that hug was additionally a sigh of reduction. We had sacrificed a lot to perform one thing that was by no means assured. We realized that successful a sports activities competitors–even successful an Olympic gold medal–has its limits. What it means to be a winner has no limits and is as much as us to outline. Knowing that women have historically been instructed they’re lower than, we wish to be examples for women all over the place that they are often greater than– greater than ever earlier than.
We wrote Dare to Make History: Chasing a Dream and Fighting for Equity to chronicle our journey to encourage a brand new era of ladies to battle for any targets which they deem worthy, in any side of life. In the guide, we recount our journey to the head of our sport, our present efforts together with virtually 150 different elite worldwide hockey gamers to begin a brand new skilled ladies’s hockey league, our coaching to return again and make one other nationwide staff after giving delivery, our efforts to advance the pursuits of deprived communities in closing the digital divide, and our ongoing contributions as position fashions championing the desires of future generations of ladies in sports activities, schooling, and the office.
This just isn’t a hockey guide. It just isn’t a lady’s guide. It is a guide in regards to the significance of the battle for fairness, significantly gender fairness. We have been continually instructed that we couldn’t succeed — that we must be content material to accept much less. But we had larger desires — and dared to make historical past.
This visitor submit was authored by Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux
Twins Monique Lamoureux-Morando and Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson began enjoying ice hockey with their 4 older brothers and their mates on a frozen pond subsequent to their house in North Dakota. There have been no women hockey groups, however no drawback; they only performed on boys groups.