They've cycled, swam, and hit their way to Olympic glory. Three medalists made their dreams a reality, but it wasn't easy.
"Every day is, you know, eat, sleep, train, you know, and do it all over again," says track cyclist Sarah Hammer, who won two Olympic silver medals in London. "Don't be afraid to compete with the guys."
Female athletes only received about 38 percent of prime-time television coverage during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
For the 2008 Summer Olympics, it was 46 percent, but three-quarters of that exposure was devoted to gymnastics, swimming, diving, and beach volleyball: sports where women wear bathing suits as uniforms.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett is training for the 2016 games; she will be 36 years old.
"Why not give what I can give, 100 percent?" she says. "Don't let age stop you."
While the average age for an Olympian is 26, there were 187 athletes over age 40 at the London games, including a 52-year-old female rower from Canada.
"Don't waste time," said Dot Richardson, who won two Olympic gold medals in softball. "Everyone will fill their time with something, so fill it with productive, meaningful things."
When her sports career ended, she became a doctor.
But most of all, these Olympians agree, the best advice: work hard and never give up!
This winter in Sochi, some likely female stars include world champion long track speed skater Heather Richardson, and Sarah Hendrickson who won gold at this year's world championships in ski jumping.
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