Sports Round Up #3: One Loss Isn't the End of the World
Each month, one of our high school interns will research articles written by or about women’s sports. We see our Sports Round Ups as a gathering place of women sports news and voices. Our mission is to spread awareness of women’s voices in the sporting field, to help tell the stories of our community, and to inspire her own understanding and voice. Check out our Sports Round Up series. By Lily Gustafson, Editorial Intern
It's old news now that Ronda Rousey lost to Holly Holm in a UFC women's bantamweight fight. Rousey was previously undefeated and she only opened up about the loss relatively recently. In a long-form piece, "Ronda Rousey Says She's Down But Not Out," Ramona Shelburne at ESPNW writes about how Rousey has dealt with defeat and what she plans on doing next. It took Rousey a long time to be able to talk about what happened. In fact, the lead of the story is, "She isn't ready to talk yet." It's hard for anybody to go undefeated, and then to lose. That along with Rousey's role as a strong female presence in the sports world leads to lots of pressure on her to succeed. Fail once, and everything changes. It will be interesting to see how she rebounds from this. After all, how you deal with failure is more telling than how you handle success.
Serena Williams also lost this year. She had won all three major titles last year and was looking to complete the Grand Slam, but Roberta Vinci ended her chances when she beat her at the US Open. Despite the loss, Williams won the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year award. With Carly Lloyd and Rousey trailing her in votes, Williams won her fourth AP award. Personally, I enjoy watching both men's and women's tennis. Williams, and her sister Venus, play a big role in that. Tennis is so intense and although I don’t understand the nuances as well as some people, I’m still drawn to the sport.
Women’s tennis seems to have a significant fan base. That is not the case for the WNBA, where the women are "a bunch of chicks running around looking like, cast members from #orangeisthenewblack." Or so Gilbert Arenas, a former NBA player posted in a rant of the WNBA on Instagram. This sparked reactions from many, including WNBA players Swin Cash and Ivory Latta. Arenas isn't alone in how he feels about the WNBA, which is sad, because there is quality basketball being played there. As a female basketball player, I’m used to people thinking our version of the game is inferior to men’s. It’s the same game, and in some aspects, the women’s game is better. Flashy one-on-one moves and high-flying dunks are entertaining for anybody watching basketball. But it takes a deeper understanding of the game to appreciate the women’s side. It’s more about playing as a team and focusing on the details, like the angle of a pass, that end up making a big difference. It is encouraging, though, to see people – not just WNBA players – step up and defend the league and its athletes.
I think it's important for people to understand how hard it is to be undefeated. The cases of Rousey and Williams show this. Williams lost this year, but was still honored with a great award. This illustrates that one loss won't ruin your career, or life -- a lesson Rousey is in the process of learning. As for Gilbert Arenas, we can only hope that this mentality is slowly but surely dying out.
(Feature photo credit by Nick Laham, published on ESPN W)