Influential women in sports

By: Isabelle Baidoo and Greta Johnson

Over the years, women in sports have been constantly underestimated. So, for women’s history month we wanted to talk about 2 influential women who were dominant in their respective sports. We chose Megan Rapinoe who plays soccer on the US Women’s National Team and Mikaela Shiffrin, who is a successful alpine racer.

Mikaela Shiffrin

At the age of 15, Mikaela started racing on the World Cup circuit. She was the youngest ski racer in American history to compete on the FIS circuit. This came after she had been skiing for most of her life, and had also attended Burke Mountain Academy, which is a ski racing academy in Vermont.

Just a few weeks after her 16th birthday, Mikeala won her first World Cup race. It was only her first season racing the circuit.

After 2 more seasons of competing in the World Cup she went to her first Olympics and ended up winning a gold medal in slalom making her the youngest slalom gold medal winner in American history.

After 13 seasons racing in the World Cup, Mikeala has 88 wins combined. That makes her the most decorated racer in the world at only 28. She’s been to 3 Olympics, has 3 Olympic medals, and is the most successful racer in American history.

Sadly, in February of 2020, Mikeala’s father Jeff unexpectedly passed. He suffered a severe head injury in the family’s home in Colorado. He was 65. This devastated the Shiffrin family.

“My family is heartbroken beyond comprehension about the unexpected passing of my kindhearted, loving, caring, patient, wonderful father. Our mountains, our ocean our sunrise, our heart, our soul, our everything. He taught us so many valuable lessons,” Shiffrin tweeted. “But above everything else, he taught us the golden rule: Be nice, think first. This is something I will carry with me forever. He was the firm foundation of our family and we miss him terribly.”

Soon after his death, Mikaela and her family started the Jeff Shiffren Athlete Resiliency Fund to help US Ski Team athletes through the COVID-19 pandemic, and honor Jeff Shiffren’s legacy of kindness.

After a couple hard seasons, and a very rough 2022 Olympic Games, Mikaela is back on top. This season she broke the record for the most ski racing wins ever which was previously held by Ingemar Stenmark for 34 years.

Mikaela is one of the most influential ski racers of our time; she broke barriers and overcame many setbacks and influenced a new generation of female skiers today.

Megan Rapinoe

Image taken from: https://useast2-www.securly.
128&policyid=0&i2n=19358979 21&url=d3d3LnNibmF0aW9uLmNvbS9zb
ZW4tYmFsbA== &ssl=true&pac=true&rand=71846118

Megan Rapinoe is a professional American soccer player. Since 2006, she has played winger and midfield for the United States Women’s National Team. Before she played nationally, she played for the Portland Pilots, during her college career, from 2005-2008. Rapinoe also currently plays for the OL Reign, a professional soccer team based in Seattle, Washington.

Throughout her career she has numerous accomplishments in soccer. Rapinoe is a three time Olympic Champion. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games she won bronze, in the 2016 Rio games she took the team to 5th place, and finally, in 2012 of the London games she won gold.

Throughout her 197 national appearances, she has scored a total of 63 goals making her the 10th highest goal scorer on the Women’s National Team.

Rapinoe is also a strong activist for the LGBTQ community. She is the latest openly LGBTQ American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2022.

She was among 17 others to receive this honor, she was the first soccer player to get this award, and was one of only six female athletes.

She is an advocate for many LGBTQ organizations such as the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Athlete Ally.

She’s received awards for her contributions to the LGBTQ community as well. For example, in 2013, she was awarded the Board of Directors Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Then in 2020 she was one of ‘Time Magazine’s’ 100 Most Influential People.

Women in sports are frequently overlooked and pushed aside. Whether it be that they are underpaid, get less TV footage than male athletes, or receive less sponsorships than their male counterparts. These women are idols to many young girls, and they are extremely crucial to the future of the sports. Representation is important in sports because it shows the next generation of athletes that their dreams are possible.

For more information, please visit:

Tensions rise in Georgia, Putin looks to China, and ICC puts arrest warrant on Putin

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

The country of Georgia is finding itself caught up with its former Soviet Republic and the present state of the world. With an overwhelming majority of Georgians wanting to get EU membership, and become a more reformed democratic institution, there has been pushback by some on the far-right. There most recently has been a push by the right-wing and conservatives to change the constitution to allow the government to become more authoritarian in certain measures. Many are fed up with the measures being proposed by various officials and individuals that they see as wanting to lower the country. Corruption is still a prevalent issue, and with Russia’s influence growing in the former Soviet Republic this is allowing for the restrictive measures to gain traction in Georgia.

Russia has used its influence as it has turned its attention to disrupting Georgia’s politics as a distraction from their invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen what comes of this, as thousands march for their rights to a hopeful future of EU membership and to stand against Russia.

As Eastern Europe finds itself in a world intertwined with the two most powerful autocrats (Putin and Xi JinPing), the West is grappling with defending democracy while not going too far to provoke our adversaries.

With the current standstill in the war on Ukraine, Russia is playing their cards towards a war of attrition. Ukrainian resilience is allowing for the further pushback of Russian forces which is leading to significant casualties, especially on the Russian side. Russia’s loss of manpower constantly has their efforts diminished and has Putin angered. He has persistently requested support from his few remaining allies and has especially sent requests for various military hardware to be delivered to his country. He has received kamikaze drones from Iran and has secretly, while somewhat silently, asked president Xi of China for military support and assistance.

The two autocrats would reconvene for their most recent summit for 2 and a half days with president Xi holding private meetings with Russian president Putin. The free world has been keeping a close watch on the moves that these two men would be making through their discussions from the 20th-22nd of March.

It really wasn’t a surprise that President Xi would travel to Moscow, especially with the tighter bond between the two countries’ alliances. Since Xi’s election in 2012 the two men have built a strong relationship and have held 40 one on one meetings.

When the somewhat crippling sanctions came in full force to Russia, back in February of 2022, China was a mainstay ally who refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and took a pretty neutral stance on the whole issue.

Through the buying of natural gas and oil, to the economic stability, and modern tech being provided to Russia, China is allowing for the state of Russia to be refurbished. The two leaders agree on the common consensus of being against the United States while treading water to remain intact with the world in terms of trading.

The ongoing war in Ukraine that continues to be further pushing Russia away has made Putin turn to hosting Xi for a variety of reasons. The main reason was that Putin strongly considered asking for lethal aid which China has remained silent on but has never given a definite no to.

The 12 point peace plan proposed by Xi has been deemed as a non starter by Ukraine, the U.S. and Western Allies. It mainly is because it would be keeping Crimea as Russian controlled territory even though it is Ukrainian land, calling for a cease fire between Russia and Ukraine (which would most likely allow for Russia to regroup and buildup manpower for a new offensive), and a plan that favors Russia in ending the war but doesn’t give all Ukrainian land back to the Ukrainians.

Most notably, in recent weeks, the ICC (International Criminal Court) has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin of Russia and for the Commissioner of Children’s Rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova. This comes at a time when Russia is continuing to lose and manpower is short. The arrest warrant is mainly for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russian controlled territory as well as many Ukrainians who were forced to be taken to Russia. Lvova-Belova, who is the Commissioner of Children’s Rights in Russia, has been in control of the handling of displaced children since the war started. She herself has “adopted” at least one kid from Ukraine and has been an advocate of having Russian families take in Ukrainian children.

Putin and Lvova-Belova have both been pro Russian and have the mindset of making the Ukrainian children lose their identity and therefore become Russian citizens. With the forced deportation and the illegal adoptions which have taken place, the ICC has issued arrest warrants for both of them under the Rome Statute. Although, in the near future, most likely nothing will happen for them to be arrested, it further isolates Russia and its leaders from traveling to much of the world, and especially to the West.