Girls need to see different images of women they can look up. Toy giant Mattel has taken care of that, releasing a doll that resembles Britain’s fastest woman, Dina Asher-Smith, according to CNN.
“Growing up, sportswomen were less visible in the media and there is still a gap when it comes to women’s sports, which is why representation is so important,” Asher-Smith told CNN. “For Barbie to champion female athletes and different sports shows future generations that anything is possible. I hope little girls will see my doll and be inspired to take up and continue to enjoy sports.”
Asher-Smith is a world champion sprinter and the fastest woman in British history. Her doll is part of a collection of Mattel’s global initiative, the Dream Gap Project. Other dolls included in this collection are Black-ish star Yara Shahidi, tennis phenom Naomi Osaka, ballerina Misty Copeland, gymnastic great Gabby Douglas, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
“As sportswomen continue to set new records and take center stage around the world, we are proud to honor these amazing women by amplifying their stories and achievements with dolls in their likeness,” Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s global head of dolls, said in a press release. “In an effort to close the Dream Gap, we have a responsibility to show girls they can be anything on and off the field, court, mat and beyond.”
Dina Asher-Smith, as listed on the Mattel Barbie site is the World Champion, a four-time European Champion, and the fastest British woman in history. She currently holds British Records in the 100m (10.83 secs), 200m (21.88 secs) and 4x100m (41.77 secs). Her first major victory was in the 100m at the World Junior Championships in Oregon, in 2014. She went on to win the British Senior 100m title in 2015 and the European 200m title in 2016. In 2018 in Berlin, she won three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at the European Championships. Last year, she did even better, taking gold in the 200m, silver in the 100m, and silver in the 4x100m at the World Championships in Doha. At her first Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, she was part of the British team that won bronze in the 4x100m. Asher-Smith is currently training for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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