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December 06, 2019

The State of the Sport with Kara and Sally

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PART 1    |    PART 2   |   PART 3

In 2014, Oiselle signed Olympian and pro runner Kara Goucher as a sponsored athlete for Oiselle - and that relationship continues today.

A lot has happened in those six years:

Not to mention Kara's reflections on her incredible career as one of the world's most successful - and sought after - pro athletes.

Below is a multi-part conversation about the state of the sport of running. At Oiselle, we know we've invested quite a bit, to have a seat at the table - and to help women athletes rise to the highest level. And for Kara, she's stayed true to her journey as an athlete, advocate, and whistle blower. But we both agree there are many miles to run, and there's so much more progress to be made, to make the sport as good as it can be for the next generation coming up -- especially for girls and women.

Please join us for a conversation I found honest, forthright, and thoughtful. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Head Up, Wings Out!

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This is Part 1 of a three-part series.

Conversation topics included in Part 1:

Story of Kara joining Oiselle, Kara’s impact on Oiselle as a business

Kara’s label as “emotional”

Oiselle’s experience as a new sponsor in the pro Track & Field world

USATF as sport governing body, power structures in the Track & Field system

The power of “belonging” and some pitfalls

How contracts can incentivize athletes to do the wrong thing for their body/ long-term success

Timeline of Kara’s pay suspension, contract stipulations, fight to be paid as a new mom

Reductions vs. suspension in pay and #dreammaternity 

How rankings-based pay can punish clean athletes for not doping

The power and appeal of the pregnant/mom athlete 

Real conversation around the nuance of being a paid pregnant athlete/ job description 

The origin story of NOP, singlet design, the energy of a new group, Tour de France

 


This is Part 2 of a three-part series:

Conversation topics included in Part 2: 

Kara’s scrappy racing mindset

The coach as a “father figure”, potential pitfalls in coaching relationships

Strains on Kara’s marriage

How winning a Worlds medal changed the coach/athlete relationship for Kara 

2009 Boston Marathon tactics, regrets, pressure, disappointment, and self-support

The USADA investigation begins, Pro-Publica report, salute to Adam Goucher 

Joining a new training group in 2011, praise for Shalane Flanagan and Jerry Schumacher

2012 marathon Olympic Trials 

Kara’s 2016 “emotional” post-race interview


This is Part 3 of a three-part series.

Conversation topics included in Part 3: 

2016 Marathon Olympic Trials – shoe controversy, IAAF equipment rules, grey areas in sport

Respecting competitors while also allowing for analytical thinking regarding rules

Technology innovation and guidelines

Sisterhood with Mary Cain, becoming more fearless, shame as a powerful suppressor

Culture change is possible, envisioning a better future for the sport

Different pathways to activism

Backlash against female voices

Advice for younger athletes: agents, coaches, how to ensure protections

Kara has your back!

Get in Here, We Love You

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Comments

Danielle Henty | December 4, 2019 at 3:17pm

Kara, your story of returning

Kara, your story of returning to work after you had Colt hit so close to home for me. After both babies, I was back at it at 5 and 6 weeks for fear of falling behind, not getting paid and losing my position altogether. My career primarily involves talking to people, spreadsheeting and emailing. I couldn't imagine if I needed my body to do my job at that point - you are tough and amazing. It sucks that you went through that, and you should have been treated better. You didn't deserve to be pressured into going back so early and performing. Nike could have been an amazing trailblazer, and instead were playing by the old, patriarchal rules. It's awesome to see you and Sally breaking the rules and setting a new standard. Keep telling the story. And please release the next non-pod tomorrow. I'm excited to listen! Hugs to you.

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