Each year, we ask a small a group of athletes to take part in a structured level of involvement with the Foundation by joining our Athlete Advisory Panel. Panelists act as the face and voice of the Foundation by promoting our mission, attending our events and spreading the word about us to fellow athletes, to their sponsors and to fans. Most importantly, Advisory Panel members act as the eyes and ears of all female athletes, telling us what work needs to be done and giving us insight into how we can continue to elevate female athletes. Athlete Advisory Panel members are always considered for promotion onto our Board of Trustees where they serve alongside some of sports’ and business’ biggest movers-and-shakers; Board athletes are also eligible to be selected as WSF President, a prestigious position help by former champions like Laila Ali, Dominique Dawes and Nancy Lieberman.
We are proud to welcome three new champions onto the Panel, all accomplished leaders in their sports. Keep reading to learn more about ice dancer Meryl Davis, climber Sasha DiGiulian and bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor.
Sasha DiGiulian, world-record setting climber
Sasha attempted her first climb at just six years old and since has successfully completed climbs around the world few have dared to even try. Sasha is a three-time US National Champion and a multi-time Pan-American Champion. In 2011, Sasha was the Female Overall World Champion. She is the first and only North American woman to climb an ascent with a difficult grade of 5.14d (9a), as well as the first North American woman to onsight 5.14a (8b+). Along with her many outdoor and competition climbing achievements, Sasha has been honored with numerous awards including the Cutting Edge Athlete Award for 2014 performance and the Golden Piton Award in 2012. In addition to her climbing career, the Alexandria, VA, native is currently a student at Columbia University, where she is studying Nonfiction Writing and Business. Her writing has been published in National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Seventeen and a number of other publications. Sasha is an Athlete Representative on the board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing, is a passionate advocate for gender equity in her sport and relishes her position as role model to female climbers with dreams of the top.