After Emily Regan won Olympic rowing gold for the U.S. in Rio, she returned home to Buffalo touring local schools and events, posing for photos with her medal and offering encouragement and advice to girls of all athletic abilities. During that time she began to fully understand that her status as an Olympian gave her a platform and she wanted to use it to advocate for girls and women in sports.
She took that a step further on Saturday, joining several of her U.S. rowing teammates in the women's march in San Diego.
"I feel for me the longer I’ve been training and the longer I've been in the sports world, the more I’ve seen first hand the inequalities and maybe have seen them on a larger scale than you feel like you see in day-to-day life," Regan said.
Many athletes marched across the country on Saturday to advocate for human rights, for dignity, for opportunity and access. They have experienced inequality and discrimination personally or felt the sting of unfairness when their teammates suffered.
And this generation of athletes, particularly women, continues to find its voice, rallying for rights they no longer take for granted.