Tuesday, August 20th
Description: How do you coach young women to become world-class champions? This candid conversation reveals the highs, lows, challenges and the role modeling coaches play to bring out the inner champion in female athletes. And how does coaching play a crucial role off the playing fields? Margaret “Digit” Degidio Murphy is the former head coach of the Boston Blades and Kunlun Red Star WIH in the Canadian Women’s Hockey Leagueand was the head coach of the Brown Bears women’s ice hockey program. She became the most victorious coach in Division I women’s ice hockey history during her 18th season at Brown and finished her NCAA coaching career with 318 career wins. Liz Plosser, Editor-in-Chief, Women’s Health will interview Digit.
Erin Hamlin & Kim Vandenberg
Description: What makes an Olympic athlete want to compete? Where do they get their passion and fire? How did they get their start? Hear from two Olympic medalists as they discuss the importance of getting girls into the game at a young age and keeping them inspired to compete over a career. Erin Hamlin is a three-time luge Olympian, 2009 World Champion, five-time U.S. National champion, six-time USA Luge Female Athlete of the Year. She was selected as Team USA’s flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Kim Vandenberg is Olympic swimming bronze medalist, 2008; silver medalist at the 2005 World University Games and 2007 world championships; Pan American Games champion, 2011. Lauren Lubin April, Director of Community Impact/Athlete Leadership at the Women’s Sports Foundation will moderate the conversation.
Dr. Mara Smith & Dr. Kate Ackerman – Mind/Body Rebalance
Description: Recent research reveals that training regimens for female athletes, traditionally based on men’s routines, may be doing more harm than good. Dr. Kate Ackerman (right), Director of the Female Athlete Program at Boston Children’s Hospital discusses her work with reframing training protocols for optimal performance for women. Former gymnast Dr. Mara Smith (left) helps athletes build mental skills enabling them to handle whatever comes their way. She has become a pioneer in the concept of Mental Strength and Conditioning. These two leaders bring us up-to-date on the critical importance and value of mind/body balance required to succeed on and off the playing field. Their conversation will be moderated by Bethany Bump, Health Reporter for the Times Union.
Wednesday, August 21st
You’re at the top of your game, but are you playing the right game? What does it take to let go of who you “should” be to become who you’re meant to be? At 30 years old, Sunny Stroeer left her Harvard MBA and successful corporate career behind to become a professional adventure athlete. She is a climber, mountaineer and trail runner. Her specialty is the high altitude endurance realm; she holds speed records on Aconcagua and on the Annapurna Circuit and has excelled on high trails in the Colorado Rockies and leads all-female expeditions to the Everest Region and Mount Kilimanjaro. Join Sunny for a candid conversation with Liz Plosser, Editor-in-Chief, Women’s Health.
Hosted by Women’s Health
Description: This spirited conversation is about therise of women in sports and fitness and its impact on future generations. A group of Aurora Games competitors (to be announced) will share their personal experiences of what it takes to compete, win and serve as a role model for the next gen of female athletes. Liz Plosser, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Health will moderate the panel of world-class champions.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina | Hosted by the Times Union
Description: All athletes deserve to participate in sports free from bullying, hazing, sexual misconduct or any form of emotional or physical abuse. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is a judge of the 30th circuit court in Ingham County, Michigan who sentenced Larry Nassar in the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal. She made it her mission to give voices to Larry Nassar’s survivors and, in the process, emerged as a fierce support system, eager to create a safe environment for victims of abuse in her courtroom. The Judge will discuss how athletes have the right to be protected from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. She is an empowerment advocate supporting women to find their voices recognize how strong they are, powerful and full of potential. Susan Mehalick, executive editor Women@Work and city editor of the Times Union will interview Judge Aquilina.
Thursday, August 22nd
Jackie Joyner-Kersee & Amy Palmiero-Winters
Description: Two world-class athletes speak out on their careers, life and what it means to achieve global recognition as the top athlete in their fields. They will also discuss how young women can strive to reach their personal potentials – even against all odds – and how to rise above adversity to succeed and thrive. Jackie Joyner-Kersee isranked among the all-time greatest track and field athletes in the heptathlon as well as long jump. She won three gold, one silver, and two bronze Olympic medals, in those two events at four different Olympic Games. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of All-Time.Amy Palmiero-Winters is a decorated para athlete with multiple world records and firsts for a female amputee in marathons, ultramarathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons.Joyce Bassett, Executive News Editor, Times Union will moderate the conversation.
Shannon Miller & Laura Berman Fortgang | Hosted by TJMaxx
Description: The Gold Medal Mindset is all about winning the day. It’s about understanding that we need to make every moment matter. Whether it’s on the field or off, we can utilize the lessons learned through sport to help us through some the greatest challenges of life. Goal setting, positive attitude, teamwork and a commitment to excellence all play a role in helping us be our very best. Shannon Miller talks about her experience as an Olympic gold medalist and how it helped her launch her post-competition career and battle her biggest challenger yet, cancer. Miller remains one of the most decorated gymnasts in history with seven Olympic medals. After retiring from Olympic competition, Shannon received her undergraduate degrees in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Houston and her law degree from Boston College. She then moved from Olympic athlete to advocate for the health and wellness of women and children. In 2011, Shannon was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Now cancer free, Shannon continues to be a strong advocate for awareness and early detection. Her words will inspire you to dream big, focus on what matters, and take specific steps to achieve success! The seminar will be moderated by life strategist and professional speaker, Laura Berman Fortgang. As a business owner, executive trainer, author and media perennial, Laura is one of the first professional coaches to be trained and credentialed in the United States and helped found the International Coach Federation.
Donna de Varona