Sport can help us change the world for the better.
That is the message behind the new podcast series “We Have a Goal”, produced in conjunction with Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner Panasonic, where Paralympic medallist Amy Purdy talks to the IOC Young Leaders about a range of global issues including gender equality, peacebuilding, inclusion, and sustainability.
The four episodes in the series will go out weekly, starting on Wednesday 30 March 2022. You can listen to them all on Olympics.com and the first episode is below.
Aged 19, Purdy had both of her legs amputated below the knee. But despite being given a 2% chance of survival, the American went on to become a three-time para-snowboard Paralympic medallist, motivational speaker, actress, and author. Purdy took part in Dancing with the Stars in the U.S., and performed a routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Amy is joined by a number of IOC Young Leaders for the "We Have a Goal" series, who each share inspiring stories from their own journeys and discuss how they are driving change through sport.
“Empowered women empower women” - Amy Purdy on Episode 1 of new “We Have a Goal” podcast series
Episode one of the “We Have a Goal” series focuses on gender equality.
Coming from a typically male-dominated sport in snowboarding, Purdy shares how the feeling of support helped her to thrive: “Empowered women empower women,” she said.
Purdy is joined in the first episode by three inspiring IOC Young Leaders: Aneta Grabmüllerová, Jemima Montag, and Adriana Escobar, as they share how they are working towards gender balance in sport, on and off the field of play.
Aneta Grabmüllerová is a professional triathlete and PhD student from the Czech Republic. When Aneta was 15, a coach’s inappropriate comment about her weight led to a seven-year eating disorder that eventually forced her to take a five-year break from sport.
As part of her IOC Young Leaders project, Aneta created a digital platform that provides information on eating disorders for athletes, parents, and coaches. The users also have access to nutritionists and psychologists should they need further advice.
“Eventually I want to create workshops and organise training camps for those young girls so that I can educate them, and I hope to prevent the issue in the future,” she said.
Aneta believes that stereotypical media coverage of female athletes is also partly to blame.
“The coverage women receive is still very limited. When we do receive the coverage, it’s often stereotyped or sexualised. So that creates a very wrong image of what women in sport do. We as young girls need role models. When I was growing up doing triathlon, I wished that there was more diverse representation,” she continued.
“While there is still a lot of toxic culture around, we have a bigger choice now on social media. It’s up to you who you follow and there are so many great role models.”
Jemima Montag is a race walker from Australia who finished sixth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and since February 2022 is a national record holder in the 20km.
Her IOC Young Leaders project “Play On” focuses on female athlete physical and mental health, encouraging women to not drop out of playing sport.
“I can tell you from a scientific basis that the joy and the motivation and the inspiration you will extract [from sport] comes just from the joy of trying,” she said.
The four key barriers to playing sport for women that Jemima is working to break down are female athlete health, mental health, nutrition, and inclusive spaces.
“I found it difficult through the ages of 17 and 18, really wanting to give up.”
“The lack of role models meant I didn't really believe in myself or that elite sport was a valid pathway for me to be pursuing.
“But coming back into the sport all the way to the Olympic Games and seeing just how much sport can offer young women. The life skills it gives us like confidence, teamwork, having purpose and resilience are really great ingredients to work towards gender equality.”
Adriana Escobar is a rower from El Salvador, who also has a degree in early childhood education.
Her IOC Young Leaders project is a book that provides girls and young women information and tools designed to improve their confidence, self-esteem, and wellness.
“There is so much potential [in female athletes] that is not being used and it’s frustrating,” she said.
“But sport is such a key component that I am today. It actually gave me a voice, I feel part of something and my heart always feels very full.
“My hope is to bring more girls to either my sport or other sports, and to be their big sister in a way.”
The second episode on of new podcast series “We Have a Goal” with Amy Purdy launched here on Olympics.com on Wednesday 6th April 2022. It looks at peacebuilding, to mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. You can find more information on EP2 and listen to it here.