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Not just for the boys

Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff

My inspiration for suggesting the “Breaking Ground” piece came from reading about Florida’s Erin DiMeglio—the female high school senior who decided to join the boys’ football team and is currently rocking the eye black as third-string quarterback.

What a baller.

So I got thinking about other fabulous females in sports and came up with a few of my favourites—both real and fictional—who have said “Screw you, gender norms” and played with the boys. If you’ve been struggling to find some inspiration to get moving, check out the following chicks who kick ass at their sport.

Cassie Campbell

My obsession with Cassie Campbell peaked around the time she was captain of Canada’s 2002 gold-medal winning women’s hockey team, but it first started after I learned that she played boys’ hockey until she was a teenager. I got to meet her when I was 12, and told her that it was the best day of my life. Since then I’ve had other pretty great days, but I still think Cassie Campbell is super legit.

Becky O’Shea from Little Giants

Despite her infatuation with adorable teammate Junior Floyd and a valiant attempt to win his attention by becoming a cheerleader, Becky “Icebox” O’Shea’s heart found its way back onto the field—she pulled off the most epic comeback in fictional Ohio peewee football history, all while wearing a skirt.

Ye Shiwen

At only 16 years old, this girl outswam fellow Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, completing the last 50 metres of the 400-metre race seconds faster than he did and setting a world record. Of course, allegations of doping ensued, but Shiwen passed her drug test. Even if she hadn’t won, being a teenager at the Olympics is cool enough on its own.

Julie Gaffney from The Mighty Ducks

She isn’t the only strong female character in The Mighty Ducks series, but Julie “The Cat” Gaffney’s quick glove is what won the Ducks a gold medal in the finale of the second movie. You’re welcome, Coach Bombay.

Hayley Wickenheiser

Teammate and co-captain of the aforementioned Cassie Campbell, Wickenheiser has not only won medals for Canada four times, but played softball in the Summer Olympics as well. More recently, Wickenheiser was digitized (like a boss) into EA Sports’ NHL 13, the first of the game’s series to feature female players.