I have mentioned before the documentary Ride the Divide, about the grueling MTB bike race across the Continental Divide, starting in Canada and ending in Mexico and lasting more than a month.
The film was so meaningful to me because, though it was released in just 2010 and I watched it at the beginning of my endeavor into cycling in 2012, it featured the first woman to ever complete the race.
It was shocking that in this day and age there were still things women haven’t done, and also inspiring. I felt like a kid skimming the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records, looking for a record to make or beat… there was still so much ground to be covered, records to break, firsts to be had.
This week, we saw another first in the world of women in sports.
Sarah Thomas was hired as the first full-time female NFL referee. Thomas was a college basketball player herself, and has worked as a ref in Division-I high school football, and is not new to the NFL; she has officiated as a line judge and worked as a replacement ref for years.
"I am a female, but I don't look at myself as just a female," Thomas said last June while working a Cleveland Browns minicamp. "I look at myself as an official.”
Like many (most) women in sports, Thomas recognizes that she is different, the minority, but in the true spirit of feminism just wants to do job she loves, participate in a sport that makes her happy, regardless of gender.