Three world class athletes, from three different backgrounds, share one resounding message.

March 11, 2020

Three world class athletes, from three different backgrounds, share one resounding message.

March 11, 2020

What do a German 20-something-year old track and field athlete and sprinter who won two gold medals at the European Athletics Junior Championships in 2009 and represented Germany at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships; a retired British-born Italian track and field athlete who competed in the long jump, winning the World Championships twice and two Olympic silver medals; and a German footballer who was named all-time top scorer of the UEFA Women’s Champions League (with over 50 goals scored throughout her career) and played on the German team in the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold, have in common?

The answer: PUMA.

They were all special guests at the “Great. New. You.” panel discussion hosted at PUMA headquarters on the heels of International Women’s Day, and we were honored.

Yasmin Kwadwo, Fiona May, and Anja Mittag. Three women. In three different phases of their lives. From three different backgrounds. Together, they shared dozens of ideas and suggestions on how we can motivate, inspire, and better care for ourselves. But one message resounded more clearly than any other: Believe in yourself. And conversely, if you don’t believe in yourself, don’t expect anyone else to do so.

Each of the three women are undoubtedly heroes for countless women in this world. Each of them has achieved world records or Olympic or world titles that make the rest of us mindfully conscious of untapped potential. Yet each of these beautiful, talented, incredibly strong women has at some point in their lives doubted themselves. After injuries. After losing a chance to play in the game they lived and breathed to play in. Even after heartbreak or major life changes.

People are always trying to put me into a certain box. I hate that. I don't belong in any particular box. I think it's important for us all to break out of those boxes that people try to put us into.

Fiona May, PUMA supervisory board, Olympic medal-winner, actress, and activist

So know that, whether you are a world champion, or not, there will be times where you doubt yourself. And someday, if you’re really putting yourself out there, you will fail at something. For a short time, maybe you will even fail at many things. Doubt will creep in. And if you feed it, it will grow. But if you starve it, it will slowly die out and dissipate. And for your winning streak to begin, you need something critical. It is not luck. Or “knowing the right person”. Or an inheritance. You need to believe in yourself. Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk. Begin to live the life you’ve been imagining, as if it was already there. Only then will people believe in you and begin to bet on you, giving you the chance you may have been waiting a long while, or a lifetime for.

And, like these amazing PUMA athletes and ambassadors, you will deal with discrimination in some way shape or form, and you choose what to make of it. You decide whether you will rise above. Like these women did. They represent hundreds of thousands of others, who have taken similar journeys.

We are so grateful to Fiona May, Anja Mittag, and Yasmin Kwadwo, for opening up about their unique and never-ending journey to the top. And to Manolo Schuermann, Head of Sports Marketing Teamsports at PUMA, who kindly agreed to moderate the talk with these three powerful, inspiring women. May their message self-love, self-respect and authenticity inspire you, as much as it did us.

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