Feeling inspired at the Summit
I was so excited to be at the espnW Women + Sports Summit -- and it only took a few minutes for me to feel inspired. I started to get teary-eyed just hearing the stories of the Everyday Heroes who've worked so hard to give girls unique opportunities in sports, and I was thinking, Thank god it's mostly women here so I don't have to be embarrassed to be emotional already!
I was honored to be on a panel with basketball player Tina Charles, sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross and swimmer Janet Evans. I'll admit that I did sneak a picture with Tina because my parents both went to UConn and they love watching her, when she was in college and now in the WNBA. We were never allowed to even walk into the room if my dad was watching UConn basketball, so I can't wait to go home and tell him that I got to meet her.
Wednesday's keynote speech by Michelle Kwan was incredible, as well. She has always been a hero of mine and we did a couple of photo shoots together a few years back, but our paths rarely cross now. I'm excited to talk with her again because she's a phenomenal person and has accomplished so much in figure skating and in her life after retirement. Her work as a board member for the Special Olympics is impressive, and I aspire to be like her.
Seeing all Michelle has done helps me to look ahead to what I want to achieve later in life. When I'm finished with snowboarding, I know I want to give back to the sport and try to help it gain even more exposure. But I also want to go beyond that to make an impact on the world around me, and Michelle is a role model for me in that way.
Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind lately. I just got back into the country from offseason training in New Zealand (and an awesome surfing side trip to Fiji). I headed straight here to the Summit and I'm so glad I did. Being around all of these women who have accomplished so much makes me motivated to train even harder. I'm coming off of a rough couple of years with a bad ACL injury, but now I'm stronger than ever. I'm physically and mentally ready, and I'll be back in competition in December in Austria. The women here have inspired me to want that gold medal in Sochi even more, and they've also given me a lot of ideas for ways I can give back when my competition days are over.
Lindsey Jacobellis is an Olympic silver medalist and seven-time X Games gold medalist in snowboard cross.