Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Equality in Sport: 50 Women to Kona
Let's talk about fairness and equality today.
I'm not an Ironwoman. And I'm certainly not a professional triathlete. But, I am a woman. And I was once a little girl, who looked up to female athletes and was inspired by their hard work, determination, dedication, grace, humility, athleticism, leadership, passion, and love for sport.
Since becoming a triathlete, I've been inspired by the likes of long-distance triathletes like Chrissie and Mirinda... but also by other pro-women, like Alyssa Godesky, one of my former high school classmates who is just starting her second year as a professional triathlete. And I think that these women deserve a chance at the "big show" in Kona. I think these women deserve every opportunity to succeed and chase their dreams. I think these women are probably inspiring a whole lot of women all over the world to do the same.
So... that brings us to 50 Women to Kona. There has been a lot said about this issue and the fact that the Ironman brand has not seemed to even budge. Many people more familiar with it have put words down that are much more eloquent than any I can write, and I would encourage you to read a few of them:
The International Women's Day Call to Action on Witsup
Sara Gross has a number of posts on her blog: http://saragross.blogspot.ca/
From Coeur Sports (my team): Part 1 and Part 2
Some examples of previous instances of equality in the sport: http://www.witsup.com/maintaining-our-tradition-of-equality/
The jist is that women currently do not have as many professional spots as men do at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and the 70.3 World Championship. There are 50 spots for professional men and only 35 for professional women. The organizers have been repeatedly asked both publicly and privately to increase the number of spots for women, and have not done so. There are discussions about "proportionality" and that if there were more female triathletes, there would be more spots for pro-women. But why have a "wait and see" approach and hope that more women will join the sport? Why not just make the number of spots equal and show that the Ironman brand supports and encourages the participation of women in the sport? Why not just do it now??
You can join the 50 Women to Kona Facebook page
Read / Sign the Open letter to Women for Tri Board.