The Minnesota Vikings celebrate International Women's Day.
EAGAN, Minn. –Vikings staff and coaches alike are settling in to TCO Performance Center.
During the week that the entire organization is under one roof for the first time in years, the Vikings honored International Women's Day with a brief presentation during lunch in The Huddle, the new facility's cafeteria.
Director of Women's Initiatives and MVC Head Coach Tami Hedrick welcomed everyone and introduced Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren, who shared a few thoughts on behalf of the Vikings.
Warren said that International Women's Day provides "an opportunity to recognize and show our love and appreciation to women and what they're doing" on a local level and beyond.
"We do the very best job that we possibly can to show women, not only here, but to show the league what we feel about women, their importance [and] the role that they play," Warren said. "Really, the way that they change the organization. I'm just so grateful to stand before you and to tell everyone, 'Thank you for all that you've done.' "
Warren made an illusion to the late Sir Roger Bannister, a British athlete, doctor and academic who, in 1954, ran the first sub-four-minute mile in London.
Bannister was an average runner at the high school level but determined to reach the four-minute benchmark while attending medical school. Taking into consideration his limited availability at the time, Bannister strategically used his 30-minute lunch breaks for interval training.
"On the race day and even in preparation for race day, he knew he couldn't do it by himself. So he enlisted two of his running partners … and he asked them, 'Will you run with me on the day?' " Warren explained. "He knew in order to break the four-minute mile barrier … he couldn't do it alone."
Warren went on to explain that within weeks of Bannister becoming the first individual to break the time barrier, numerous other people felt empowered to reach the same goal.
"Sometimes in life, it just takes that one person or that one group to break the four-minute mile. And once it happens, people see that great things can be done," Warren said. "And when I think of Roger Bannister … I think of all the women in this organization who basically decided that they're going to break the four-minute mile – to be great women to make this organization profound and great.
"This is a great day to say, 'Thank you,' but it's also a great day to say, 'We're going to run alongside you,' " Warren said.
As part of the program, Vikings Director of Football Administration Anne Doepner also spoke about the Twin Cities chapter of WISE (Women in Sports and Events), which held its first official event Wednesday.