Cool Girls with Tag: athlete

Kati Beierl

Name: Kati Beierl
Age: 27
Location: Innsbruck – AUSTRIA
Occupation: Sports Police Officer

Austrian bobsledding Olympian Kati Beierl grew up in an athletic family, and she had high hopes from when she was just a child. Both of her parents were world class track and field competitors, and that gave her high hopes, as did visiting her bathroom.

“My mother was at the Olympic Games 1988 in South Korea and hung her certificate on the toilet, so everyone had to see it,” she recalls. “Little Kati really wanted to make it to the games.”

After dabbling in track and field for a while, she found herself looking for a sport she could really connect with. At the suggestion of her training team, she called the head coach of Austrian bobsledding, who invited her to the push track.

“The first summer I spent training with the team I didn’t exactly know what bobsledding was,” she admits. “But when I did it for the very first time on ice I knew that this would be my new sport.”

After two and a half years of ‘sliding,’ (as it’s called) she made her World Cup debut. By 2018 she found herself at the Europacup with her team, which was where qualifying races for the Olympics began.

“The first big moment I will probably never forget was leading into the second run of the Europacup in Norway,” she remembers. “It was a crazy experience to be the last two people in the start house. Luckily we were able to win those races.”

The mental toughness required to compete at this level can’t be overstated. Teams have two runs, and if they do well on the first run, then it’s important that the second is just as stellar. The pressure to be among some of the finest bobsledding teams in the world can be excruciating, but each race brings them closer to comfort.

“All of the races have helped me so much, each one helped me to find my own way of dealing with the pressure. I try to be as relaxed and happy as possible before going down the track.”

Mind you, these sleds reach speeds up to 93 miles per hour!

“Every race is a unique challenge, it never feels the same,” Kati says. “Standing on the starting block is the most exciting feeling I’ve ever experienced. At the moment we do the command, all my thoughts are gone, it’s just pushing at full speed, as hard and fast as you can. Then we jump in. I take two deep breaths and try to be the most chilled version of myself. In the track my only focus is the next curve.”

Ever the competitor, Kati is entering a new discipline: Monobob, which is being introduced at the Olympics in 2022.

“Normally I push on the sidebar and my brakegirl is pushing at the back. In Monobob, the pilot is not only the pilot, but also the brakegirl,” she explains. “I push in the back, then do a big step into the sled, sit down and steer it through the track. After the finish line, I pull the brakes to stop the sled.”

For Kati, her life revolves around training, competing, eating, sleeping, all in a consistent routine that helps her maintain her body and her mind. It was the daily grind that got her and her teammate Jenny through the summer, when – because of Covid – they didn’t know if they’d even be sliding this winter. Once they were sure that the races were on, Kati’s singular focus was even more clear.

“My biggest goal is getting an Olympic medal, everything I do is to get me there. My pusher, Jenny, moved from the Netherlands to my place, so we could train together. She even gave up her Dutch citizenship and got an Austrian passport in December.”

These two ladies are unstoppable. First they head to the World Championships in February, and then the Olympic Games next year.

Although most people would think that this alone would be enough, Kati continues her studies in law school while training and competing. Her next ambition is police school.

“I know that my sporting career will not be forever,” Kati says. “It’s very important for me to have a perspective for my life after, so I can also be good at my job after bobsledding.”

What advice does this awesome athlete have to pass on to young people growing up with big dreams and maybe a pinch of doubt about their ability to get there?

“The most important thing is to think big and stick to your dreams! If you want it badly enough, and you work for it every day, you’ll get the chance to reach your goals. And never, ever quit your project just because anybody tells you that you’re not going to be able to do it. Many people, especially men, told me that I wouldn’t be a world class bobsledder. But now I’m here, I’ve competed at the Olympic Games and reached World Cup podiums. You can do this!”

Amazing work, Kati! We at Sock It To Me are rooting for you!

Follow along with Kati on her social media accounts below, and keep an eye out for the following upcoming events:

Instagram: bobteambeierl, kati.beierl

Facebook: Bobteam Beierl

Upcoming Events:
World Championships 2021: February 6th-14th
Olympic Games 2022, Beijing: February 2022

Megan Petersen

Name: Megan Petersen
Age: 29
Location: Portland, OR
Occupation: Producer at Nike, Founder of The Bladies Co.

Growing up with her brothers, Megan Petersen was always on some sort of wheels, from big wheel tricycles to rollerskates. When she was around seven years old, she got her first pair of rollerblades.

Megan Petersen hangs out with her pup, Canon.“I fell in love with rollerblading when I first saw it, but it wasn’t until I was 23 I was able to really get into it. I would rollerblade around as much as I could but my health was a battle,” she recalls.

“When I got to my teenage years, I started getting really sick way too often,” she says. “There were days it was really hard to walk, my knees would get so swollen that I had them drained and shot with Cortisone. Getting light-headed and falling down started to happen and I felt so sick and weak it was hard to get out of bed. I was really scared.”

At 17 she was diagnosed with Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis, which was believed to be caused by Lupus. She was prescribed a ton of medication, and learned how to wrestle with her autoimmune disease. It was around this same time that she was exposed to extreme rollerblading, which included grinds, jumps, and backsliding.

“I met a few kids who were doing tricks on rollerblades, which I’d never seen before,” Megan remembers.

In 2004, Megan attended a contest called Barn Burner in Renton, Washington. There she met tons of legends in the sport, including Erik Bailey, Brian Shima, Jon Julio, and Chris Haffey. At 19, Megan moved to California, which is where she began shooting photos of skaters. By 2012 Megan began to attack her blades and attempt tricks.

Megan catching some air.“I knew this girl Aarin Gates who was the absolute coolest girl I’d ever met. She had more style than any of the guys I’d seen skate. (Sorry, guys.) I started meeting more girls like Melissa, Coco, Fallon and Chyna. There was nothing I wanted more than to learn to skate with girls like these. I was so stoked!”

Megan’s friends and fellow aggressive inline females Fallon and Coco would chant “Bladies!” when they were skating, and the name stuck. From there, it took off, becoming a website, online shop, and brand for women in the sport.

“There’s potential for a solid industry of females in rollerblading and a community to build!” Megan gushes.

Megan and Canon racing by Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.Between playing with her husky, working at Nike, and keeping up with Bladies, Megan finds herself squeezing in skating on her lunch break or after work. Beyond scheduling her skates, and battling the winter blues when the cold weather beats up on her arthritic joints, Megan finds herself still fighting the specter of sexism within a community as close-knit as rollerbladers.

“Even here it’s hard to say, but as a girl surrounded by guys you get heckled and hear a lot of sex jokes and deal with some comments from guys that aren’t great,” she says. “I think the biggest challenge is that there’s not a ton of girls to skate with in most places and we need a bigger community of bladies.”

Bladies T-shirt close-up.Megan and her cohorts are working to launch a brand that motivates lady bladers while also creating an industry for them. “There’s a whole community of rad Bladies shredding!” Megan exudes. “Join the shred!”

For her work attracting attention to ladies who rollerblade, and for never giving up, we think Megan Petersen is a very Cool Girl!

To learn more about the Bladies, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram.

We made a $200 donation to Stronger Skatepark to support a safe (and dry) environment for everyone that loves skating and those that want to start. We encourage you to make a donation too!

100 Cool Girls

Since we initiated our Cool Girl movement in 2009 we’ve featured scientists, athletes, artists, entrepreneurs, hopers, dreamers, and doers. We’ve had the pleasure to meet and get to know a lot of amazing women of all ages doing amazing things. And as of December 2017, we hit 100 Cool Girls!

But, who is a Cool Girl? A Cool Girl is someone who defends awesome: an everyday superhero! Someone who exudes positivity, and leads by example. Cool Girls make a difference in their communities and the world, challenge the norm, and aren’t afraid to be themselves.

We’d like to take this momentous occasion to highlight some individuals who have made a lasting impression. Each and every Cool Girl is inspiring, but if we included them all this post would be, well, 100 Cool Girls long. So, please use this as a teaser of truly extraordinary women and then take a look through the whole blog.

Know some inspirational women yourself? Nominate them to be a Cool Girl. They may get featured here, get some cool socks, and might also get some support for a project or charity of their choice.

If you just want to give a shout out to a really awesome woman in your life, you can also leave a comment.

Graphic Novelist and Cool Girl Lucy KnisleyLucy Knisley
Graphic novel artist & author
Featured 2016

Lucy has been drawing since she was a kid, publishing comics since she was 19, and published her first graphic novel when she was 21! A lot of her work is autobiographical including growing up with her chef mom (Relish), jet-setting around the world (Age of License), and her work in progress about becoming a parent (Kid Gloves). Read more.

“Other girls and women in cool professions are the best and greatest resource you can possibly imagine. Hold up your fellow lady, and your fellow lady will hold you up!” -Lucy Knisley, Cool Girl

Professional Fighter, Writer, Teacher and Cool Girl Roxanne ModafferiRoxanne Modafferi
Professional Fighter, Writer, Teacher
Featured 2014

Roxanne started practicing Tae Kwon Do in grade school after watching Power Rangers and trained hard to make it onto The Ultimate Fighter 18! She’s triumphed over injuries and ill-timed food poisoning to not only win fights, but teach and write (Memoirs of a Happy Warrior). Read more.

“I was greatly influence by TV superheros who always did the right thing no matter how troublesome, and saved people.” -Roxanne Modaferri, Cool Girl

Irene Gabashvili
Founder of Aurametrix, Inc
Featured 2012

Irene realized there was a serious need for people to be able to alleviate symptoms for certain chronic ailments and conditions on their own. She developed Aurametrix which is like a digital nurse that looks at all of the different details that can contribute to a person’s symptoms in order to figure out what parts of their life are making them feel better or worse. Read more.

“Believe in yourself, dream and aim high. Don’t be afraid to ask successful people for advice.” -Irene Gabashvili, Cool Girl

Vice President of Tri-North Buidlers, Inc and Cool Girl Anna SternAnna Stern
Vice President of Tri-North Buidlers, Inc
Featured 2012

Anna is Vice President of one of the largest construction companies in the country. Not only is she a powerful figure in a male-dominated industry, she helps host events like Kids Building Wisconsin, which bring attention and support for the construction workforce she oversees. She also supports events for Women Building Wisconsin, an organization that helps connect women within the construction industry and find newer members mentors. Read more.

“I would say the best advice would be to find a good mentor. I’ve been blessed to have great mentors throughout my career and have benefited from their guidance, experience, and willingness to stand up for me.” -Anna Stern, Cool Girl

Artist, Activist and Cool Girl Lindsay AmerLindsay Amer
Artist, Activist
Featured 2017

Lindsay created her YouTube channel Queer Kid Stuff to bridge the gap in theater and education for LGBTQ+ kids. Lindsay creates fun, easily accessible videos made for children featuring inclusive, queer storylines. She powers through online harassment to push for “a kinder and more equal future.” She does have a lot of supportive fans, though, growing every day! Read more.

“If you love it, do it and be it. Don’t listen to what other people want you to do, or think, or say, or be. Listen to yourself and your wants and needs and just do you. You’ll be so much happier for it.” -Lindsay Amer, Cool Girl

BMX Champion Payton and Cool Girl "P-Nut!" RidenourPayton “P-Nut!” Ridenour
Being a kid!
Featured 2012

Payton has been riding since she was 5 and started competing in BMX at a high level when she was 7 and even qualified for the World Championships. She’s traveled all over the United States racing and making a name for herself. She advises other girls interested in the sport: (Read more.)

“They should know that this is an aggressive sport. You need to dress for the crash and not for the ride. But most of all, you need to keep it fun.” -Payton Ridenour, Cool Girl

Co-Founder Petal and Cool Girl Julie WagneJulie Wagne
Co-Founder Petal
Featured 2016

Julie co-founded Petal, which fosters a partnership between artists, designers, and weavers in West Africa and San Francisco. She and her partner Ibrahima are committed to providing resources to tribal villages and communities, to exceeding fair wages, giving security to families, and protecting the cultural heritage of the Fulani people that inspires their textile creations. All this while helping provide education for children in West Africa. (Read more.)

“If you want to do something, do it. Believe in yourself and keep going!” -Julie Wagne, Cool Girl

Writer, Developer, Activist, Founder and Cool Girl Sharon LinSharon Lin
Writer, Developer, Activist, Founder
Featured in 2016

Sharon founded two non-profits to educate girls about technology, has written for publications including Huffington Post, and has started hackathons to spark creative development across communities and industries…all this before she graduated High School. Sharon wasn’t done inspiring other students to pursue computer science, so she also founded BitxBit Camp, which partners middle schoolers with older mentors and opportunities to develop projects. (Read more.)

“Never lose hope of the goals you have, and never let anyone else talk you out of them by saying you’re not good enough, or that you’re not meant for this. Seek out mentors if you can, or find older girls who you admire, and befriend them.” -Sharon Lin, Cool Girl

Biology Lecturer and Cool Girl Joan ManasterJoan Manaster
Biology Lecturer
Featured 2010

Ever wanted to see Gummi Bears get liquefied by sound waves? This Cool Girl has you covered. Joan works as a lecturer for students studying for their Masters of Science in Teaching Biology, but she wants to reach as many people as possible when it comes to the wonders of science. She thinks it’s especially important that women and girls see science as exciting and are able to see more women in STEM roles. She’s fueling this push with her website and Twitter. (Read more.)

“I find myself with a strong desire to have more women in science be seen and heard, as I think this could really influence young ladies. I hope to accomplish this by creating something of an Internet ‘science channel’ featuring video segments that highlight women in science, and to challenge more of them to be visible in this realm.” -Joan Manaster, Cool Girl

Polished Girlz Founder and Cool Girl Alanna WallAlanna Wall
Polished Girlz Founder
Featured 2015

Alanna founded Polished Girlz to bring nail parties to those who couldn’t treat themselves to a nail salon. This non-profit visits those hospitalized due to illness or those with special needs who might not be able to paint their own nails and does it for them! While bringing them a little color and company, it also teaches the importance of frequent hand-washing to reduce infection transmission and the potential for resulting hospital visits. (Read more.)

“For girls facing any challenges, I would like to tell them that they are strong and brave and that I am honored to be able to make you smile even if it is just a little while.” -Alanna Wall, Cool Girl

Alyx Bloom

Name: Alyx Bloom
Age: 20
Location: Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Occupation: Full Time Student Athlete

butlerShooting hoops in hot socks, such is the life of student athlete Alyx Bloom. This maven on the court has a message for all young athletes out there: keep at it and you’ll succeed!

As a child growing up in the small town of Clay Center, Kansas (“Home of the Tasty Pastry Bakery and the Piotique Parade!”) Alyx dreamed of becoming the next WNBA All-Star.

“If that didn’t work out then I planned on becoming the first female President,” she adds. But measuring only 5’4” in a game that holds height as one of the strongest assets, she was quick to realize that in order to win she’d have to hone her fundamentals, and she devoted herself to improving in ways beyond strength and power. “I’ve learned to out-work, out-run, out-wit, and flat out-play my competition. I strive to be the best I can potentially be,” she says.

prom-resizeBy always working to improve her game, Alyx secured a spot on several squads over the years, but it certainly wasn’t easy.

“I’ve spent countless hours on my own time outside of team practices: in the backyard shooting jump shots, in my basement dribbling, or studying game film of other great players. Self-discipline has really helped me improve my game and reach the next level,” she explains.

Behind her was her family, Kansas State University ball fans. After begging her parents to send her to the school’s summer camp, she finally got her wish, and got to meet many female basketball stars that she idolized, including her mentor, Nicole Ohlde. Not only did her parents’ summer solution stoke her fire, but her grandfather Steve was the one who supported her outdoor game, providing her an outdoor hoop and even lovingly nagging that she shoot 100 shots per day.

seniorsock2Those basketball summers eventually gave way to the life of a student athlete. Today Alyx balances basketball with books and competition with cramming. Three hour practices along with morning study sessions are the regular routine for her, along with the requisite strong pot of morning coffee! Life beyond the swish of the net is what Alyx knows she needs to focus on just as much as her game.

“Playing ball has opened up so many opportunities for me including a free education. I hope to finish my degree and apply to medical school. With a degree in Medicine, I see myself specializing in Sports Medicine. I just can’t stay away from the game, and therefore I also see myself coaching someday,” she says.

seniorbasketball-resizeSo what does future Coach Bloom have to say to young girls who are trying their hand at an athletic endeavor?

“I think too many young athletes are discouraged when they don’t succeed at first. My message to them is to never give up! Keep working hard and the game you love will soon love you back.”

Spoken like a true All-Star! For hitting the books with as much aplomb as she hits the boards, we think Alyx Bloom is one Cool Girl!

Roxanne Modaferri

Name: Roxanne Modafferi
Age: 32
Location:  Las Vegas
Occupation: Professional Fighter / Writer/ Teacher

Roxanne - The Happy WarriorSuperheroes aren’t just for comic books if you look at Roxanne Modafferi! This Vegas-based pro fighting lady can kick butt in a variety of martial arts, and has even made it onto The Ultimate Fighter 18!

Initially intrigued by cartoon TV tussles, Roxanne found herself practicing Tae Kwon Do in grade school after watching Power Rangers.

“I was greatly influenced by TV superheros who always did the right thing no matter how troublesome, and saved people,” she says. She cites Dragon Ball Z fighters, Naruto, and those famous Power Rangers as some of her favorites.

While Tae Kwon Do was her first foray into fistacuffs, she wasn’t satisfied to stay within one realm.

“I got into Kempo karate, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and then my jiu-jitsu friends showed me Mixed Martial Arts and I started practicing it with them,” she explains.

Roxanne During A FightBut unlike most kids who just have fun fighting, Roxanne took it a bit further. She took up MMA and became a bit of a superstar as well as a superheroine. She even got on television as a real-life warrior, no cartoon fireballs or animation required.

But it hasn’t all been easy. After fighting for so many years, her body sometimes lets her know that she is, in fact, mortal.

“My biggest challenge is up-keeping my body,” she admits. “I’ve been fighting for eleven years and I have a lot of nagging injuries. Some days I feel great, some days I’m in too much pain to train.”

And there have been many KOs delivered by circumstance interspersed with her victories. A nasty bout of food poisoning in Japan led to her having to pull out of a fight. Also, a super-scary knee injury that she feared would lead her to permanently buckle. Fortunately, she’s triumphed over all of these adversaries and continued to fight to success.

“The best experience was winning the elimination fight to get me onto The Ultimate Fighter season 18 cast. It opened up such major opportunities and allowed me to become better known by the public. People were recognizing me in Walmart,” she smiles.Cool Girl Roxanne Modafferi

Outside of the ring, Roxanne writes and teaches, even publishing a book called “Memoirs of a Happy Warrior” that has sold out in hard copies, but is still available in digital format on Amazon.

As she continues to muscle up without backing down, we here at Sock It to Me salute Roxanne Modafferi for being a very Cool Girl!

Check Roxanne out at and you can find her on social media as well:

Instagram: roxyfighter

Twitter: @roxyfighter