I'm writing this letter on Day — hang on, let me count the tally of wine glasses — 90 (ish) of self-isolation or “iso” as the trendsetters call it; proof that we as a species can make anything à la mode. If you’re reading this, you can tell we’ve adapted, temporarily abandoning print for our first-ever digital issue and even more groundbreaking, our inaugural Women’s Issue.
Navigating a sport-less, global pandemic world was not exactly what I pictured for my first foray as Editor-in-Chief of GLORY, but it has been a challenging adventure I am thankful for. Much of my life has been spent as a female athlete playing alongside not only talented teammates, but incredible women from vastly different backgrounds with their own unique story. It’s important to me to embark on this new chapter by highlighting the inspiring individuals of our time and giving those very voices a platform to share stories that may have otherwise gone untold. If there is one takeaway from this issue, let it be this: there is power in diversity, in differences, in representation.
It was a scary decision to enter uncharted waters, to dip our toes in the metaphorical pool of creation and redefine exactly what it is we do. But there’s a level of freedom a blank canvas offers, almost daring you: do something different. After brainstorming — both on how to put together a magazine via Zoom and how to cover sports in a world without them — we embraced change and have come out stronger because of it. (A huge credit to our small but mighty team.)
2020 has taught us a few things: (1) Frontline workers are the backbone of society; (2) Carole Baskin can’t be trusted; (3) Michael Jordan and the Bulls were not human; (4) The world is in need of change. The truth is, this year can feel bleak with far bigger hurdles than our team learning how to be flexible in a time where adaptability has become a Darwinian advantage.
The pandemic put a halt to nearly everything we know (cue: Olympics, all major sports leagues, jobs, hugging our grandparents etc.) As scary as this period of uncertainty is, it’s also one of great unity. Frontline essential workers have become modern day superheroes, athletes have become pivotal leaders and in the irony of isolation we’ve possibly had the most collective experience in our lifetimes.
That unity has taken on an even more important task; one of equality and social justice. In the fight against racial injustice — the same fight that led Colin Kaepernick to take a knee in 2016 — we are seeing communities globally come together to demand change. We stand with them. Some people say it won’t happen. My advice? Click mute.
Our spring issue is a testament that impossibility is a mere construct. When a little girl wearing an Edmonton Oilers jersey said she wanted to be a professional hockey player and a doctor, she was met with laughs. When a small child with a disability living in an orphanage dreamed of being an Olympian, she was told she couldn’t do it. When a young woman entered a male-dominated MMA gym, she was met with doubters. And when an NFL player took a knee in protest of police brutality and racism, he was told it wouldn’t make a difference. But they all had one thing in common: They didn’t listen.
In this issue you will read about Hayley Wickenheiser, who led an inimitable hockey career only to say ‘this isn’t enough,’ before going into medicine to help others. You’ll hear of Paralympian Scout Bassett, who against all odds made her way to the global stage, and a tale of perseverance from MMA flyweight, Jessica Eye. These women, while equally inspiring, all come from different walks of life. The common thread woven between them is one of determination, of saying no to the status quo, and of adapting. (There’s also a quirky story from Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller on John Stockton being infamously frugal, like ramen-soup-everyday-type-of-frugal.)
The leaders you’ll find in this issue are proof we as people can always change, inspire, and persevere. So, while the world may seem dark I implore you to seek with an insatiable hunger to find the light.
In the words of Rob Siltanen, the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. As women, we have been called “cocky” if we work too hard, “aggressive” if we fight for what we deserve, and “crazy” when our competitive nature breaks through the seams of society. So, to anyone who has been told to to whisper, roar. If they tell you that you won’t make it, dream even bigger. We know a secret they don’t: nothing is impossible.
Change is coming. Hell, if you look close enough, you’ll see that it’s already begun.
NEW YORK CITY — In February, designers, athletes and executives alike gathered to kick off New York Fashion Week with Nike. The sportswear giant held its 2020 Future Forum runway show at The Shed in Hudson Yards, showcasing athlete uniforms made from 100 percent recycled materials for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics. New runners, the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT%, and other footwear innovations were on display. Models donned Nike’s latest collections, from boiler suits to flyaway skirts, while Olympic legends including Lisa Leslie, Carl Lewis, Brandi Chastain and Joan Benoit Samuelson showcased the new Olympic podium attire. WNBA star Diana Taurasi and Canadian sprinter Aaron Brown also graced the stage with fellow Nike-sponsored athletes.
The show’s celebration of sustainability and diversity created a vibrant energy, highlights included a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant, and a dance party. Seated front row next to newly appointed Nike Chief Executive John Donahoe, was designer Virgil Abloh, singer Rosalia and rapper Drake. Other notable guests include rapper Travis Scott, 1017 ALYX 9SM’s Matthew Williams and Simon Porte Jacquemus. An athlete panel featuring NFL player Saquon Barkley, sprinter Caster Semenya and other remarkable athletes closed out the weekend.
With gyms closed, taking charge of your own fitness and body health has never been more important or more relevant. The coronaverse we’re all living in has witnessed our homes transform into places of duality and purpose, they’ve become our offices, work rooms, studios, and even gyms. Having a few staple items that can be used both indoors or outdoors help offer a change of scenery and variety. From heart-pumping cardio workouts to interactive strength-building training, getting creative and taking charge of your own fitness routine means you can work out whenever — and wherever — the mood strikes.
Sports and streetwear brands have long held close ties to social issues. Graphic t-shirts and hoodies have always been the cornerstone of streetwear, representing the voice and beliefs of the communities they stem from, just as athletes and sports brands act as leading voices of change for many.
When former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, took his first knee in 2016 during the national anthem, he made a choice to stand up for what was right knowing the cost may be his career. That one moment sparked a movement to continue the fight against racial injustice that began long ago.
Today, for civilians and corporations alike, silence can not be an option. These brands have helped lead the way by sharing their voice, and creating specialty items with all proceeds being donated to organizations fighting the cause. While this is only one small part in the fight against injustice, it’s important to highlight the necessity of taking action.
Alife was one of the very first brands to take action. Following the tragic shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, the New York City streetwear brand released a hoodie on Arbery’s birthday bearing his name. All sales ended on May 10th, with Alife raising $18, 500 in proceeds from the sale. All funds were donated to Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones.
California-based lifestyle brand, LIVINCOOL, released the Gradient Collection consisting of t-shirts, crop tops and hoodies. All profits from the release will be donated to the organization Color Of Change and every order includes a LIVINCOOL COVID-19 mask. Starting at $122
Disruptive-graphic clothing brand Brain Dead partnered with R&B singer Blood Orange (Dev Hynes) to raise money and awareness. So far the brand has raised over $500, 000. All proceeds of the Blood Orange x Brain Dead t-shirt will be donated to the Movement For Black Lives and the black-owned businesses relief fund. $74
In addition to the donation made in partnership with Nike, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand announced a commitment to donate $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations focused on racial equality, social justice and access to education.
Athletic giant, Nike, is no stranger to social responsibility. The brand famously showed solidarity with the fight against racial injustice through it’s 30-year anniversary campaign featuring Kaepernick. The campaign came after he was blatantly black balled by the NFL for his peaceful protest act of kneeling during the national anthem. Most recently the brand released a powerful “Don’t Do It” campaign, and announced a $40 million commitment over the next four years to support the Black community in the U.S. on behalf of the NIKE, Jordan and Converse brands collectively.
In a solo sport like boxing, ‘belonging’ may not be the word that comes to mind. But, behind every fighter is a misfit family of sorts, thrusting them up in moments of glory and supporting them when they fall. It’s this exact family environment Kamal and her husband Ibrahim, a champion lightweight boxer, are creating at Mentoring Juniors Kids Organization (MJKO). The program focuses on camps, after-school programs and training sessions to teach both mental and physical strength through the sport of boxing. “At MJKO, we create a sense of belonging. I think every single person that gets into the ring is a winner,” said Kamal.
After surviving a sexual assault days before her sixteenth birthday, Kamal was left feeling lost. Growing up in a small town in Nova Scotia, she felt afraid to speak up. “The experience of being assaulted, it changed me from an athlete to a competitive person, someone very trusting to the exact opposite,” she said. After moving to Toronto at 18 for a fresh start, she was introduced to boxing coach and Canadian Olympian, Egerton Marcus who helped show her the way. “It was difficult, the boxing world is not inclusive. It was 100% male. But from the very second I put on the gloves, I felt like I started to change. Boxing and that process, it healed me as a person”
“I was nicknamed Bambi,” she said with a laugh, because she struggled with her feet and often apologized after landing a hit. “My coach thought I was crazy for wanting to fight,” but this wasn’t about victory, it was about confidence. “As a woman, it was the most freeing experience I've had in my entire life. I didn't have to be a girl. I didn't have to be kind, I didn't have to be anything but an athlete trying to survive.”
Where some people might see pain, Kamal and MJKO see healing. “To use boxing to heal, you have to use vigorous physical activity or it doesn't work. We're not counselors. We're not therapists. You have to help them realize that through the motion of sweating through the motion of pushing through the hard stuff that yes, it can be scary and it can be messy, but that's alright.”
The way through isn’t always easy, and for many of these kids life may have more uphill battles to come but maybe through the power of sport, they’ll know that they can persevere. “Once I shared my story, boxing helped lift that weight of shame to say, you know what? You did your best. That's I think what boxing teaches you; you have to do your best in that moment, and then the rest is okay.”
During the most challenging period in recent Canadian history, Hayley Wickenheiser has risen to the occasion, once again.
While she’s no stranger to the octagon, Jessica Eye’s biggest opponent has always been herself. In a sport where keeping your guard up is necessary, this fighter has found power in opening up.
From an orphanage in China to the global Paralympic stage, Scout Bassett’s journey through triumph and defeat has taught her why knowing who you are might be the biggest victory of all.
When smartwatches first came onto the scene, watchmakers and enthusiasts alike scoffed at the idea of wearing what equated to a small computer on your wrist. It defied the fundamental pillars of the industry: exquisite craftsmanship, time-honoured tradition, innovative engineering. As technology has taken over our lives however, the connection between man and machine has grown ever closer, and that has extended to our wrists and a growing category of tech-enabled watches. Since Apple redefined the industry with its first smartwatch in 2015, luxury brands have slowly warmed up to the idea of integrating tech functionality into their wares, resulting in watches that combine the best of both worlds. Whether you’re an avid traveller or fitness junkie, these innovative timepieces can do everything from monitoring air pollution to mapping out your next 9-hole.
The reason that I came to Nike was because of the commitment to sustainability that I'd seen in the shoes going all the way back to the 2012 Olympics when the first Flyknit racer came out. In innovation, really our goal is to look at what we've done and say that the best is temporary and we've got to do one better. This year what we wanted to do is launch a collection that showed really how far we could go. I work with a team of designers like myself who come from completely different backgrounds, different parts of the world, and that level of diversity in point of view is what makes projects like this come to life. The opportunity to do that at a company with the resources to then take your ideas and bring them to scale is fantastic. It's a joy and it's also a huge responsibility.
One of the things that we were really inspired by was this idea in space exploration that if you're going to go to the moon, if you're going to go to Mars, you aren't going to be able to bring everything you need with you. You're going to have to use the resources that are there. In seeing that, we said, the same is true of earth. There's no resupply mission coming to earth. Let's take those same ideas of resourcefulness and let's turn them to taking care of the place where we already are and reusing these materials.
1. Space waste yarn:
On the top is 25% post consumer t-shirts, 25% textile scraps from the factory floor, and 50% recycled plastic bottles. We shredded all those things together, spun them into a yarn, and then we didn't add any additional heat or dye so this is a really low carbon yarn.
2. The crater foam:
We took 15% Nike grind — the rubber that's left over, the little bits that squeeze out the side of the waffle iron when you're making the bottom of shoes — we shredded that up and put it back into the foam. It gives each part a really unique look and it’s 15% virgin materials.
3. The Zoom x Eco:
This is the same exact foam that is on the Vapor Fly and the Alpha Fly shoes. We took the scraps from producing those elite level running shoes, and put them into the core of the shoe. Everyday athletes, people, can have that same kind of elite level comfort and performance under foot.
I think women have to believe in themselves. They have to prepare themselves, but not to the point where they know everything. I was looking at the list of NBA owners the other day and I believe there are four women NBA owners, and there’s only 30 teams so they've made really big inroads and we have a lot of women in our organization.. I think it's a matter of the support a company gives to promote women and then women on their own determining that they're capable and going for it.
Integrity comes to the top of the list. We want to have people with integrity who believe in the values that we believe in and will promote them. When my husband passed away, I had never worked in the business but I stepped in and felt like it was important for me to solidify those values. I created a program with my youngest son called Who We Are, and it's basically the cultural platform that we abide by in all of our businesses. It talks about the values that we used in the very beginning: integrity, hard work, service and stewardship. That's what we stand for, and everybody knows that.
Our goal is to leave it better than it was before we were here and I feel like we're doing that. I think the Jazz is an asset to Utah that is very important because not only does it help financially, but it also brings the population together. You can be a University of Utah fan or BYU fan or Weaver State fan, but when you're in the arena, you're a Utah Jazz fan and all of that division falls away. Being the biggest game in town, we do have an influence where we can do things that make a difference and that's what I'd like to leave: a legacy that made a difference, that made life better for those who live here. Not just because there's a basketball team, but because of what it brings to the culture, the business community and the children.
[What] I could have done better is have more confidence in myself and let it be known. I didn't come in and take the reins... Though, I very intentionally developed a culture and had an influence of where I wanted the company to go. My husband was a person who came up through the business as an entrepreneur, he wanted to control everything so he created bottlenecks for managers. [I knew that] we could not continue that way and be as big as we were, we had to have more traditional corporate leadership. I created a board of directors and one of the things they suggested was that I get a coach. That helped me immensely to have a coach who could tell me that I had the ability but I needed to develop the confidence and the courage to let other people know it.