Looking for a “HERstory” lesson? Look no further than the 2022 World Games.
HERStory, an initiative created by The World Games 2022 Birmingham Organizing Committee, encouraged the women of The World Games to share their stories – who they are, where they’re from, and how they got to where they are today. The initiative, sponsored by Regions, drew submissions from athletes competing in Wushu, archery, canopy piloting and more.
Over the course of The World Games, spectators were treated to the HERstories broadcast on video boards during in-game breaks of competitions. The women were also recognized during Athletes Night where Clara Green, head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Regions Bank, presented a compilation of HERstories and spoke about the impact of recognizing and celebrating women in sports.
Green noted that this year coincides with the 50th anniversary year of Title IX in the United States, a civil rights law that unlocked access to education and athletic opportunities for female students and cited statistics on how participation by females in high school and collegiate athletics had grown since that time.
“Events like The World Games remind us of the progress happening not just in the United States but around the world,” she stated.
Meet a few more women of HERstory below.
Michele Santos / Wushu
Santos is a Brazilian athlete who began practicing Wushu when she was 15 years old. Santos took home the bronze medal in Women’s Taolu Changquan during the 2022 World Games. Taolu is a set routine while Changquan is a style of Wushu also known as long fist, which is characterized by aerial and acrobatic techniques, circular motions and open and long-range strikes.
Lissy Liu / Wushu
Liu represents Canada and her journey in Wushu began at the age of 7, when she decided to take up the sport in order to “look cool.” Liu also competed in Women’s Taolu Changquan and came in fourth place, just behind Santos.
Alexa Cruz / Wushu
Cruz hails from Mexico and has been practicing Wushu since she was 4. She is currently a technology engineering student. Cruz finished fourth in Women’s Taolu Daoshu & Gunshu. Daoshu is also known as Broadsword and defined by powerful moments such as upper-cutting and slashing.
Stine Asell / Archery
Asell is a barebow archer from Sweden. She began practicing archery just 12 years ago, when she was inspired by a well-known American actress to pick up a bow and arrow.