This team stood up against gender inequality in sports. Their fight hit home for one girl.
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DICK'S Sporting Goods

When the U.S. Women's Hockey team takes the ice at the 2018 Winter Olympics, their goal may be to win gold, but there's another prize at hand.

They will help girls all over the country, like 14-year-old Nina Herceg, fall in love with their sport.

Herceg has been enamored with hockey players' athleticism and ability ever since her dad started taking her to games when she was little. It didn't take her long to want to lace up her own pair of skates.


"After a little bit of begging, my dad finally let me play hockey," Herceg says. "And I quickly fell in love with the sport."

Herceg on the ice. Photo courtesy of Nina Herceg.

Herceg has now played for six years and is a member of the Long Island Lady Islanders. Thanks to the experience, she's made many good friends and connected with her dad on a deeper level.

She's also learned an important lesson about herself.

"I found out I'm resilient," she says. "It's given me confidence in other areas of my life to try new things — just by learning how to play hockey."

Since the 2006-2007 season, girls and women who registered to play hockey under USA Hockey jumped 32%, from around 50,000 players to 75,832 players.

The uptick of girls playing may have a correlation to the U.S. Women's Hockey Team's recent gender equality advocacy.

It's definitely deeply affected Herceg.

"They're willing [...] to fight for what they knew was right," says Herceg. "It inspired me."

The women's hockey team's activism both on and off the ice has sparked Herceg to continue pushing women's hockey forward.

Last year in Herceg's English class, students were assigned to write a letter to any business or company on a topic they were passionate about. She wrote to NBC Sports about the lack of coverage of women's sports, particularly hockey.

"It would be great if we could get more coverage for the women because it would inspire little girls all over the world to see them on TV and to have them think, 'That could be me someday,'" she says.

While NBC responded to her letter stating they do whatever they can to air women's sports, Herceg has yet to see much change in coverage.

Still, this has only motivated her to continue playing hockey. After all, she's seen the members of the U.S. team persevere despite being treated unfairly and unequally.

Herceg with the rest of the Long Island Lady Islanders. Photo courtesy of Nina Herceg.

With the women's team getting ready to fight their way to the podium, Herceg often wonders what inspires them to keep pushing forward despite the challenges they face as women athletes?

"How do they not get discouraged?" she wonders.

While she may not have the chance to ask the players this question directly, one thing is for certain: With girls being inspired by their example, we will continue to see them breaking down barriers. Because for them, it's more than a sport; it's about carrying on a legacy of women reclaiming spaces that are rightfully theirs.

"They're proving that it's possible for us to chase our dreams," Herceg says.

This story was produced as part of a campaign called "17 Days" with DICK'S Sporting Goods. These stories aim to shine a light on real occurrences of sports bringing people together.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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