Danica Patrick, Marlee Matlin, Gender, Disability, and Overcoming Obstacles…

As many of you that have seen the plethora of skating posts that I have, I’m not necessarily the girliest girl that is out there. I’ve always been able to stand up for a fight, and this weekend showed me only a few reasons as to why.

Danica Patrick, one of the most predominant IRL racers of her time won the Indy Japan 300 on Sunday. Rarely a mention to her driving abilities, more attention in the past few days has been acknowledged to her outlandish beauty, and her ability to pick up an endorsement. Her first win in 50 tries was brushed off with, “It was a gas milage race anyway” by her critics. She’s the first woman to have won the race….ever. Let it be said that was disheartening and disappointing. Danica contemplated joining NASCAR two years ago when she talked a bit to Jack Roush, but brushed off the idea with her continued interest in Indy Cars. However, she decided against it especially hearing fellow driver Ed Carpenter say, “I think Danica’s pretty aggressive in our cars,” Carpenter replied. “I mean, you know, especially if you catch her at the right time of the month, she might be trading plenty of paint out there.” *ugh* When I read that in the Chicago Tribune I wanted to vomit.

Meanwhile, in another area, Marlee Matlin, well known deaf actress joined this years cast of Dancing with the Stars. Now, as much as I profess to be a full on reality show guru, I’ve never been a real fan of Dancing with the Stars until Marlee got online. As I was struggling with my birth defect in the early years, in and out of the hospital, for some reason Marlee was a source of great relief and comfort to me. Taking me out of the realm of what my life was, to something different and enjoyable.

Marlee made history in her journey on Dancing for being able to ballroom dance….without being able to hear the music. Thanks to her partner Fabian, she was able to move with the music and move with him without being able to hear a thing. After Heather Mills and her prosthetic leg, I thought I had seen it all. Her dancing was incredible, once again shattering the idea that a deaf person can’t dance.

Breaking barriers, fighting the good fight, that’s why as little girls we were all sat down and told we could do anything boys could do, and likely do it better. I don’t know if Danica will go to NASCAR, I think it would be crazy if they didn’t welcome her with open arms though. Michael Andretti Green Racing wants her, Jack Roush wants her. It’s back on her, thankfully, and I’m interested to see what she’ll do. I think her time in IRL has done her well. She’s got sponsors including Samsonite, Tissot, Alpine Stars, Marquis Jets, and Airtran, which at this point haven’t made the switch to the “most popular” American sport on 4 wheels. That’s just her personal sponsors, her team sponsors include godaddy.com, Honda, Firestone, and XM Radio. She’s surpassed Venus and Serena Williams, and the thought of putting her and Anna Kournikova in the same sentence makes me laugh deliriously.

Bravo ladies, you’ve done a good thing. Those girls next door down the way that have been watching your entire careers, we’re envious. Keep breaking the doors down ladies, we’ll keep watching.

You can find a great article about her at here.
Special thanks to Yahoo Sports as well for research on this article.

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