Utah Gymnasts Unite to Empower Women

Gym preview059(Ayers) Kim Brenneisen

Following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday, Jan. 20, millions of men, women and children joined together to march in an attempt to raise their voices for women’s rights on the following day, Jan. 21.

What started off as a campaign in Washington D.C. quickly turned into a global event featuring marches all over the world — from Bangladesh to Park City, Utah — fighting back against comments that had been made during Trump’s campaign about women.

Eventually progressing to Women’s March Global, the march invited millions to participate for equality, diversity and inclusion, according to womensmarch.com. It invited everyone who understand that women’s rights are a part of human rights in hopes that it would bring the world into a progressive era, defending women’s rights in response to the far-right populist rhetoric that has been shaping the world.

Women have come a long way in history, and they now hold positions in the government office, hold executive positions in the world field, and they are now featured in many sports — some of these women are some of the greatest athletes of all time, like Serena Williams.

Gymnastics can sometimes be seen as a dainty sport in the eyes of some, but what some people don’t realize is that these women are some of the strongest athletes, and they can do things that a lot of people can’t achieve.

For junior Maddy Stover, she said that breaking barriers for women in the workplace and in sports is important — just making sure their voices are heard and that they are respected.

Stover added that young women are striving for the same things — going to college and getting an education — so she believes in the empowerment of women, having equal rights, and having an equal place in the work field and in sports. Stover is all about being a boss, and she even has hopes of being somewhere high up within athletics administration one day.

“I wouldn’t say I have a strong political view on it other than that I am all for empowering young women to be positive role models in today’s society and working to increase our presence in the workplace,” Stover said.

Among her teammates, senior Baely Rowe found the Women’s March as an amazing event, because all these women are getting out and telling the world how they feel about their rights, and she thinks they are strong, independent women.

Being a part of a team with former co-head coach Greg Marsden, that was one goal of his: to make sure the gymnasts come out of college as strong and independent women, because they can do anything that anybody else can do.

“The things that I have been reading and seeing, it has just been truly amazing watching not only regular people but celebrities too, getting out there and doing the march,” Rowe said.

For sophomore MaKenna Merrell, she believes that peacefully protesting is a positive thing because it raises awareness for issues that people believe in. If people think women’s rights are an issue, Merrell is all for protests and added that she thinks it is a good thing that they are protesting.

“It is also just cool to have people out there fighting women’s rights because we want to come out of college as strong, independent women,” Merrell said.

While none of these women had the chance to participate in the march, Rowe admits although she isn’t actively involved in politics, she could see herself potentially participating one day.

“It is just amazing what they are doing out there for us,” Rowe said.