SXSW: Olympic Gold Medalist Hilary Knight Talks Gender Equality

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  • Being an Olympic gold medalist is “pretty sweet” according to U.S. hockey player Hilary Knight. When she sat down with Shira Lazar at SXSW, Knight explained how playing a sport that is known as a man’s game has led her and her teammates to take a stand for equitable support. One of the most important things the team did was threaten to boycott the world championships to make it happen. Using such a large stage helped the team in their push for equitable support, and their road to the Olympics. Just last month the team went on to win the gold medal which was a huge victory for the U.S.

    By “equitable support,” Knight is talking about the team needing funding for sweat equity, resources and programming, and for the team to be able to train in different locations. Their main goal is to pump up the rivalry between the U.S. and Canada and to have programming outside of Olympic years.

    When Knight was first starting to play hockey, her grandmother told her “girls don’t play hockey” — a direct example of how she’s lived the gender conversation throughout her hockey career. Though her grandmother is now her biggest supporter, “unfortunately in 2018 we’re still not there,” with gender equality both in sports and other industries Knight said. “I’m trying to use my voice and my platform to lend a voice to someone else who doesn’t have that platform.”

    She hopes one of the ways her industry will grow is by giving female sports more coverage. For now, Knight is going to continue to use her voice to try and empower others and is joining the professional hockey league again in hopes to draw more attention to the sport.

    When Knight won the gold, her first instinct was to run to her mom (who was in the crowd) and have her email her grandma the good news. As for how Knight celebrated the win with her team? Hugs, tears of excitement and joy and “lots of champagne.”

    Watch the video of the full interview above and tell us what you think in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.

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