Women in the Snowsports Community: Badass Female Initiatives
‘‘It’s OK to be confident here. I’m going for gold. Because I think I can. And I don’t think it’s jinxing here and I don’t think it’s arrogant. It’s just a fact. We come to the Olympics to win.’’ – Mikaela Shiffrin, recalling her gold medal in the slalom at the 2014 Sochi Olympics last month.
Last month at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history. In the wake of Mikaela’s victory, I am inspired to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the female snowsports community. In an arena where women do not always take center stage, women across the globe are coming together to support and challenge one another through various initiatives. Below are a few of the incredible initiatives started by some of these courageous women:
She Jumps – was founded by Lynsey Dyer, Claire Smallwood, and Vanessa Pierce with the mission to increase the participation of females in outdoor activities. Professional freestyle and big mountain skiers, not to mention outdoor enthusiasts, Dyer, Smallwood, and Pierce know first hand the importance of pushing the limits and chasing their passion. She Jumps works to provide women with a similar opportunity to get outside and “jump” to reach their highest potential. Women of all ages are invited to participate in She Jumps’ numerous programs. Opportunities include everything from Youth Initiatives connecting young women with positive female role models for events, camps, and workshops to Alpine Finishing School a top-level all-women’s ski mountaineering course. She Jumps has initiatives and regional coordinators across the country, so check out the events near you! http://www.shejumps.org
- Jackson Hole Babe Force – “Strong, Sexy, Soulful” is what reads on the coveted JH Babe Force patches that women can earn through the accomplishment of one of the following three goals: facing their fears, helping a peer reach a goal, or having an extreme adventure while maintaining safety, integrity, and conduct. The Jackson Hole Babe Force is a spin-off of the Jackson Hole Air Force (“Swift, Silent, Deep”) started back in the 1980’s as a crew of Jackson locals in search of untracked powder and never before skied lines. Crystal Wright founded the Force in an effort to bring women skiers and riders together to celebrate the sport and each other. ‘“Goals are relative to ability,” Wright insists to all Babes out there, “and we are often more likely to reach those goals when skiing with girls.’ It comes down to the if she can do it, maybe I can do it mentality.” JHBF gets together sporadically throughout the year for events like “Galentines Day,” JH Babe Force Ski Day, and tours in Grand Teton National Park. Yesterday JHBF had their last event of the season in Jackson. Partnering with Get The Girls Out, the crew of ladies spent the day skiing, jumping, dropping and filming in the spring sun. For more information on Jackson Hole babe shredding check out the JHBF Facebook page!
For more female inspiration in the mountains, check out the trailer for Lynsey Dyer’s Pretty Faces all-female ski film coming out Fall 2014!
And for even more inspiration, below are a few more all-women initiatives started by crazy talented females in the snowsports community:
- Pretty Faces
- Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition
- Z Girls: http://www.geekwire.com/2013/girls-olympic-skier-athletes-fitness/
Women aren’t always first on our radar when it comes to snowsports, so remember to keep your eyes peeled for rad gal skiers and riders and get outside with girlfriends whenever you can! Never underestimate the power of the “Babe Force”!
By AI Blog contributor: Maggie Edmunds