Talking Women’s Equality In Sports With The Lamoureux Twins
Gold Medalists Secured Equitable Treatment for Women in Hockey
In August, WFCO interviewed Olympic gold medalists and trailblazers for women’s equality in sports, Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.
Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux were members of the U.S. women’s ice hockey team that threatened to boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships in March 2017. The team protested the lack of equitable treatment in pay and benefits, marketing, and financial support for girls youth hockey.
With a boycott looming, they spurred negotiations with USA Hockey for travel and insurance provisions equal to those of the men’s national team; a pool of prize money; a monthly $2,000 stipend from the United States Olympic Committee for training; and a better performance bonus structure.
“The men’s team had a higher per diem, $50 compared to our $15. We didn’t always get championship rings,” said Monique of the inequalities they experienced. “We felt very undervalued.”
Leveling the playing field
The twins recently spoke at a luncheon co-hosted by Comcast and WFCO. They focused on leveling the playing field for women in sports, technology, and more.
“Initially we thought we should be grateful. Then we realized we should want more – especially for the players behind us,” said Monique.
Most importantly, they emphasized that achieving women’s equality in hockey hinged on projecting a collective voice and being willing to “lose it all.” The team secured the support of the under-18 players who were not on the U.S. team, but likely would be called up in the event of a boycott. They knew that by asking them to decline the invitations, the young players would miss an opportunity to play on the world stage. But their solidarity would create real, collective change by putting something on the line.
Ultimately, the team and USA Hockey reached a fair agreement. The team went on to earn the gold at the world championship, then captured its first Olympic gold in 20 years by defeating Team Canada in PyeongChang. Monique scored the game-tying goal and Jocelyne score the game-winning goal.
Equality is not a buzzword
“My hope is that our fight isn’t (the next generation’s) fight,” said Jocelyne. “These gold medals are a dream come true but at the end of the day people will remember if you made a positive impact on the people around you. Sometimes breaking barriers has nothing to do with a gold medal.”
With all that happened over the summer with U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team’s raising awareness about equal pay and the debut of the Colorado Classic, the twins expressed excitement for the direction of women’s equality in sports.
“It’s a special time for women’s rights and equality. It’s not a buzzword,” said Jocelyne. “The women’s soccer team is the is a symbol of the cultural movement right now. They’re an example of standing up and saying enough is enough.