What do you think of when I say the words, ‘powerful athlete’?
A gargantuan swimmer, stretching through the pool with his paddle-like limbs? The wiry muscles of a sprinter as he glides around a track? Or maybe a raw block of a man, gloved hands perched next to his chin as he throws a whacking punch?
The term ‘powerful athlete’ is a masculine one, one that invites the traditional narrative of men cracking world records and showing off unbelievable physical talent.
But what about the women?
This one goes out to the awe-inspiring Serena Williams, who has today broken records to win her 22nd Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.
Now here is an example of a powerful athlete.
Serena is ranked number one in the world for women’s singles tennis, with a career that spans almost 20 years. That’s two decades of tireless campaigning to be the best of the best, of gruelling daily training, of mental resilience, and of incredible discipline. Two decades of waking up and knowing you have to face down new and the young and the talented to win.
That’s a long time to be fighting, but it certainly was worth it. Serena’s 22nd Grand Slam win now puts her in the same league as German player Steffi Graff, and nudging the all-time world record held by Margaret Court for 24 Grand Slam wins.