ESPN’s Her Story: Celebrating Women in Sports
One-Hour Special March 27 Highlights
Today’s Young Female Athletes
ESPN‘s celebration of Women’s History Month will culminate with a one-hour special, Her Story, hosted by Hannah Storm on Friday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The special will highlight the accomplishments of young female athletes, their contributions to advancing the world of sports and the challenges facing them today.
“It was an honor to be involved in Her Story and to bring such inspirational and empowering stories to our audience,” said Storm. “It’s a really entertaining hour, featuring courageous and strong women from sports as diverse as surfing and roller derby. I really appreciate ESPN’s commitment to this project and to sports for women of all ages.”
Kristin Huckshorn, senior news editor and coordinating producer for the special, stated, “What’s unique about Her Story is its focus on young athletes and fresh stories our viewers may not have heard before. While we respect the history of women athletes, we want to introduce athletes who are making history today, girls and women who are inspiring. We will give sports fans a glimpse of what they have to look forward to in the coming years.”
Her Story: The Special:
- Teenage surfing phenom Bethany Hamilton, who returned to her sport with a vengeance after losing her left arm in a shark attack in 2003. Despite the handicap, Hamilton has continued to rise in the rankings and become one of the world’s top surfers.
“For me, losing my arm was definitely worth it…… I can still surf, I get to inspire people who don’t have hope in life and nowadays a lot of people don’t have hope and I’m just really glad that I can do something bigger than just live my life for myself.” – Bethany Hamilton on her life after the shark attack
- Twenty years ago, the Women’s Sports Foundation released a study that determined Hispanic girls had far lower participation in sports than other ethnicities. Few studies have updated that premise. Reporter Shelley Smith looks at some of the barriers to participation as well as success stories, proving that with the right amount of family and school support, Hispanic girls may just prove to be sport’s fastest growing demographic.
“In my family, she’s the only one that plays basketball. Several times in my family, they say, ‘How can she like basketball if it’s for boys?’” – Martha Lopez, mother of high school basketball player Dioseline Lopez
- Interviews with Courtney and Ashley Paris, daughters of former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Bubba Paris, who give Oklahoma its best shot of winning an NCAA women’s basketball title.
- A feature on Shoni Schimmel, a Native American teenager in Oregon who is among the top high school hoops players in the country but must deal with cultural bias and personal challenges as she heads towards her senior year.
- ESPN’s Suzy Kolber recalls making the football team in Montgomery County, Pa. in 1974 only to quit due to strong opposition by parents and others in the community.
- The rebirth of roller derby, which has made a comeback in a grassroots revival in Austin, Texas. This resurgence has led to more than 200 amateur, all-female roller derby leagues across the country.
“I had two female friends in my life before I started roller derby. Now I have 80. That’s a big deal.” –Natalie, a.k.a. Honey Homicide, roller derby competitor
- In addition, the winning inspirational clip submitted by a fan on ESPN.com’s Her Story page will also be aired.
ESPN’s month-long multiplatform initiative is focusing on female athletes between the ages of 13-24 and includes stories on Outside the Lines, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN Deportes and ESPN360.com. In addition, ESPN produced a series of vignettes airing across ESPN’s networks.
For more information and photos for ESPN’s Her Story or any of the programming featuring female athletes during the month of March, please visit the Women’s History Month media kit.