Olympic dreams start young …

It’s been a time at the Games, delayed by the pandemic, splintered by misogyny, and fraught with racism. The day I publish this Canada will face off against Sweden for gold in the women’s soccer final. Canadian women have led the way in the medal count of all colours and the men brought up the rear with gold medals in track. It’s been nice to cheer for all the athletes, and celebrate those representing the place we call Canada.

I haven’t had time to watch a lot of the Games, but I keep on top of what’s happening, both in the Olympic Village and outside of it. Several friend shared this adorable TikTok video. Have a look at Emily aged four marvelling at the strong Olympian women.

Little Emily is inspired by the strong women she saw on her television. “You can do it,” she said. Then she says, “… strong hands, I wish I had strong hands. I wished I had to be the strongest.”

It gets better. She tells her parent that she has done the same “dropping” as the weightlifters on the screen.

She explains to her parent, “When I was the strongest Emmy, I used to go there and play dropping.”

What a treat to see strong women represented. How exciting to see children and youth inspired to try the same. What an inspiration to see strong women respect their bodies and their abilities and speak their truth about what they are prepared to do. US powerhouse gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from the final in the team event and a couple of others because she knew she could not push herself and still safely execute her incredibly demanding maneuvers. She modeled the greatest strength with grace and determination.

Strong hands, strong boundaries, big dreams. Whatever our age, I think it is always important to see ourselves represented and be supported by the agency of women claiming their space, be it the field, the gym, the pool, or the seat of government or the boardroom table for that matter. Find your your inner Emmy. I know you can do it.

— MarthaFitat55 is a writer and consultant getting her fit on in St. John’s.