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Tokyo Olympics: Where sportswomen are the real Wonder Women

Ambica Sachin /Dubai
ambica@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 26, 2021
USA's forward Alex Morgan is among the Olympian mothers competing at the Tokyo event

(AYAKA NAITO)

It’s very important to spend time with the family, you know, the 6-year old droned on quite like a method actor regurgitating a parenting manual, as I was getting ready to swoosh out of the house at 8:30 in the morning.

Unless we spend time together playing, eating, hunting for treasure, how will you know more about me, he rambled on.

Hmmmm, I nodded along, trying not to remind him how we spent Friday as a family, with him glued to his gaming videos and me on the couch looking up from my book sporadically to remind him he had too much screen time and needed to take a break in the next 10 minutes; 5, 4, 3, 2, okay another 10 minutes then. Nothing like a school summer holiday to test the stretchable time to its limits.

Being a mother and a working woman can be emotionally draining, leave aside physically taxing. It’s a constant battle waging inside of every woman ever since society opened up to afford them a seemingly equal footing with men.

I say seemingly, because many women will vouch that despite being equally if not more qualified than men, despite putting in equal if not more working hours, they still find themselves caught on the back foot when it comes to career defining decisions.

Each of us are faced with our own unique set of challenges; the mental gymnastics we are forced to indulge in or the emotional tug-of-war going on at any given moment.

And then I see the beaming images of female Olympians from the ongoing sporting event in Tokyo popping up all over my Instagram.

Gone perhaps are the days when lucrative sporting deals and brand endorsements were the prerogative of the male of the species where even the hint of pregnancy could derail a promising female athlete’s career.

We have definitely evolved by leaps and bounds to the present day Olympics where nursing mothers are allowed to bring along their wards. Due to the pandemic-induced restrictions on spectators and family accompanying sportspeople to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, it was a last minute victory for many mothers juggling their on track commitments with their personal responsibilities.

The stories of first time mothers and even others whose passion for the sport have led them to sacrifice what many of us take for granted is a lesson in dogged perseverance, deep-rooted fidelity to a chosen cause and a physically and mentally taxing schedule that often sees them training for the better part of their active existence on earth.

Many of these Olympians are living examples of ‘Wonder Woman’. And the recent controversy over the sexist dress codes at the games where one section was being fined for wearing “too long” shorts while a track-and-field performer was being scolded for ‘too brief-briefs’ is testimony to the unequal footing many still find themselves in.

Just maybe the sporting authorities could check out JLo flaunting her 52 year-old-young body as she celebrates with her current squeeze Hollywood hunk, Ben Affleck.

There’s nothing more empowering than seeing a woman in total control of her body - whether it is on the racetrack or on the stage, these are the women we should be celebrating.

author

Ambica Sachin

Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.