Women in Sport Panel

Charlie Brooks, VP, NA Communications, NIKE, Inc., will moderate a discussion with a panel of outstanding women in sport who have tackled challenges, exemplified leadership and achieved greatness, either on or off the field.


Debbie Antonelli, Basketball Analyst

    The ultimate student-athlete at North Carolina State, Debbie Antonelli led her team to four NCAA tournaments with two Sweet Sixteen appearances while securing a double major in business and economics. She then continued on to pursue her master’s in Sports Administration at Ohio University. Antonellie served as Director of Marketing at both the University of Kentucky and Ohio State University, followed by 28 years of experience as a college basketball analyst appearing on ESPN, CBS, BTN, and the SEC Network. Antonelli currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Kay Yow Cancer Foundation, the Womens Basketball Hall of Fame, Naismith Trophy, and Village Vision. She also volunteers for the Special Olympics. She and her husband, Frank, have three boys.

Joan Benoit SamuelsonRunning, Health and Fitness Clinician; NIKE, Inc. Consultant

    Joan Benoit Samuelson’s name is synonymous with women’s running. She began running track in high school in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and attended Bowdoin College, where her career soared. She received All-American honors in cross-country and track, and won the Boston Marathon in 1979, setting an American and course record – all before she graduated. Samuelson won the Boston Marathon again in 1983, this time breaking the world record. One year later, at the age of 27, she won the gold medal in the first women’s marathon at the Los Angeles Olympics. In 1985, Samuelson won the Chicago Marathon with an American record time of 2:21:21. In April of 2008, Samuelson participated in the Olympic Marathon Trials in Boston and met her goal of running a sub 2:50 at age 50! In 2009 she ran in the 40th NYC Marathon which coincided with the 25th anniversary of her Olympic win, where she ran another sub 2:50. She set the goal as a way to support her belief in life-long fitness. Later that same year, Samuelson was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame. Joan Benoit Samuelson (or “Joanie” as she’s known to many) is married with two children, Abby and Anders. She is a devoted wife and mother who has always been able to maintain her commitment to the sport.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Head Coach, USC Women’s Basketball

    Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is widely known as one of the world’s greatest and most decorated women’s basketball players with five medals representing the United States, two NCAA championships at USC and four WNBA titles. She has resurrected three collegiate programs and was named head coach of the USC women’s basketball program in 2013. Cooper-Dyke is a wife and mother of 11 year-old twins, and has chronicled her childhood, her basketball career and her mother’s battle with breast cancer in her autobiography, “She Got Game: My Personal Odyssey.”

Sarah Reinertsen, Ironman Triathalete

    Sarah Reinertsen is one of the most well-known disabled athletes in the world, having competed on an elite level for more than two decades in the sports of running and triathalon, making sports history at one of the toughest endurance events in the world – the Hawaii Ironman. Reinertsen was the first woman on a prosthetic leg to finish the Ironman World Championships in Kona, in a very respectable finish time of 15 hours and 5 minutes. She has many notable highlights in her athletic career, including as the former world record holder in the half-marathon and full marathon, three-time ITU world triathlon champion, and 13-time marathon finisher. She graduated from George Washington University with a BA in Communication and International Affairs, and received her MA in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California. Her goal for 2016 is to compete at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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