Last week, Christopher and I attended the Women’s Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sports gala at Cipriani Wall Street. This was a night to acknowledge the women who have shaped our athletic world, specifically those who have made a significant impact in the past year.
I have to tell you, being in a room with some of the world’s best athletes is one of the most inspirational feelings I have ever felt. The start of the evening introduces the athletes, stating their accomplishments in their career thus far. I was in complete awe seeing the likes of Venus Williams, Abby Wambach, Laila Ali, and Billie Jean King during the “Grand March of Athletes.” I also tweeted at the foundation in which I donated money to “Go, Girl, Go!,” which works to keep young girls involved in physical activity. Being an active youngster myself between playing soccer, volleyball, and also dancing, running and the dribbling the occasional basketball (I’m terrible at it), I thought this was most definitely a worthy cause.
But the person who got me the most was Winter Vinecki, a 12-year-old triathlete who founded a non-profit organization after her father battled a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer in 2008. Yes, you read that right. Homegirl is 12. Which means she founded Team Winter when she was 9. But that’s not all—she has been performing in triathlons since she was 5. FIVE. YEARS. OLD.
Before accepting her ANNIKA Inspiration Award, the foundation played a video reel of Winter and what she does, and why she does it. Tears started to stream down my face as her mother (an IronWoman herself!) spoke of her late husband being with Winter every time she crossed the finish line. Winter is a prime example of inspiration. She is doing what she loves, racing almost every weekend, and all for a good cause. It is so amazing and extraordinary that a woman so young can make such a statement and such a difference.
So, this one is for the ladies. Work hard, play hard, sweat hard. Do what you love. And never give up.