By Regina A. DeMeo
In June 1972, Congress enacted Title IX which required educational programs receiving federal assistance to ensure women were given equal access to sports. Later that same year I was born, so I am truly a Title IX baby, who fell in love with sports at an early age. For my mother and grandmother, who raised me, it was a good way for me to channel all my energy, while also ensuring that I was engaged in safe activities after school. For me, it was a complete game-changer that has impacted every aspect of my life.
By age 11, when I began competing in rhythmic gymnastics I firmly believed that anything was possible and that I was in every respect equal to my male peers at school. Despite my modest upbringing I had very clear and ambitious life goals, and sports taught me the importance of setting goals, developing a plan, and savoring each and every win as it happens. But in order to continue with my gymnastic endeavors, my mother made it clear that I could not allow my academic performance to suffer. As a result, I became super disciplined and organized at an early age. In order to get in 3 hours of training a day and longer on weekends that were not spent in competitions, I had to make school work a priority on my free time, which resulted in having very little down time but I didn’t care.