women in sports

Olympic Hockey Star Meghan Duggan, a Danvers Native, Reveals Hopes for Females in Sports

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She’s won 7 straight world championships, 2 Olympic silver medals, and one Olympic gold.

After 30 years on the ice, 2-time U.S. National Hockey Team Captain and Massachusetts native Meghan Duggan hung up her skates.

My whole career on the ice or in my professional life, I've, I’ve made decisions based on gut. And that's, that's kind of how this one came about,” says Meghan.

She adds, “This had been something that I had poured my heart and soul in and really built my life around since I was a young kid. So, I did not make the decision lightly. I was very emotional and came with a lot of conversations between my wife and I and what was next.

In her personal essay published by ESPN, Meghan explains that her proudest achievement wasn’t on the ice, but in the boardroom in 2017 as she boycotted the World Championship.

My teammates and I decided, like, this is bigger than sport. All of this and these issues that we're fighting for and working to change the landscape of women's hockey or women in other sports or women in other industries, that's, that's bigger than sport. And we were passionate enough about it where we were, we were willing to put our sport and our training and our preparation for a World Championship on the line,” she said.

The U.S. Woman’s National Team was part of a larger movement, one pushing for gender equity in sports. We’re starting to see more and more headlines of female “firsts.”

Duggan says, “It's, I'm so excited and uplifted and empowered about seeing all of these firsts. You know, you mentioned coming with the Marlins teammate of mine, Kendall Coyne, being hired by the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. And I love that these women are getting these news stories, but I, too, look forward to a day where it's not a huge news story anymore. Just that it's, that it's the norm, that it's regular, that powerful, qualified women are being given opportunities that they deserve. And not only women but members of the BIPOC community, members of the LGBT community. There's a lot of underrepresented groups out there.”

Growing up just north of Boston in Danvers, Meghan is no stranger to paving a new path.

I grew up playing with all the boys, and I was always the only girl with the ponytail and felt like I had to work 10 times as hard, one hundred times as hard, for my coaches or my teammates or parents of my teammates or opponents to respect me and to understand that I was there for a reason because of my skill, not because I was a girl and got this handout,” she remembers.

Her advice to the younger girls coming up: “You have to always keep pushing yourself and finding out what you're made of in all different areas, whether that's on the ice, off the ice, in your advocacy work and, and what's important to you. You know, it's not the end of the day, but how you respond and how you evolve from those challenges is really what's important. “

So what’s next?

“I've been given some great advice from women I really admire and look up to in hockey and saying, you know, you don't have to jump into anything tomorrow, take some time and think about what you want to do and where you can have your next impact. And, and I’m definitely excited about doing that.  And then I’m excited about being a mom. You know, like, that's, that's a job that I think sometimes is really underrated.  And so, I'm looking forward to pouring a lot of my time and energy into that as well,” Meghan says excitedly.

Well one thing is for sure, Meghan’s legacy is just getting started.

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