Sport pioneer Sarah Hendrickson led her sport of ski jumping to the Olympics in 2014, winning the World Championshp in Val di Fiemme, Italy in 2013. (Photo: Sarah Brunson/U.S. Ski & Snowboard)
National Girls & Women in Sport Day on February 3 recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of female athletes. Ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson became a legend in her sport, winning the first World Cup title for women, winning gold at World Championships in 2013 and becoming the first woman to jump in the Olympics. Here’s her story of what sport meant to her.
SPORT TEACHES YOU THE POWER OF DEDICATION, PERSEVERANCE, FAILURE AND JOY
by Sarah Hendrickson @schendrickson
From the day I was born I was always a momma’s girl. The people who have known me since I was a little one, have always known me to be attached to my mom’s hip. I was shy, timid and talked very little. But when I was doing a sport, I was the complete opposite. When I ran around the soccer field or turned down the slopes, I was fearless. I had confidence in my abilities that did not show up in other parts of my life.
Fast forward to when I started traveling for ski jumping, the confidence started to shift from the field of play to everyday life. Where before I used to stand behind my mom and not respond to people talking to me, I now stood in front of cameras and crowds telling my story. I found a voice in me that I had never shared before and that is all thanks to sport. The power of sport has been so pivotal for my personality and character. I have become strong mentally, physically and emotionally because of the experiences through ski jumping and that is something for which I will be eternally grateful.
No matter what sport you choose, sport teaches you the power of dedication, perseverance, failure and joy. There is nothing in the world that can compare to working hard and having it pay off, sport is a great way to experience that. My message to young girls is to explore all types of sports. The power is not in a specific sport, but rather sport as a whole at any level. It does not matter if you become professional or not, but rather experience the challenges and success as you strive to try something new.
USA Nordic’s programs have provided opportunities for young girls like Sarah Hendrickson to achieve their dreams. Join us on National Girls & Women in Sports Day by supporting USA Nordic’s women’s programs.
About USA Nordic
USA Nordic is the national leadership organization for ski jumping and nordic combined, with a legacy of success and a wide range of programs for girls and women. You can support its efforts to bring ski jumping and nordic combined to girls with a donation to USA Nordic.