Benched is an UNCUT Podcast which aims to give female student-athletes their rightful voice in the world of college sports. By prioritizing the overlooked and the overshadowed, we shine a light on the challenges and stories pertaining to women in college sports. As male sports typically take center stage in the public eye, women's athletics ride the bench. It's our job to change that narrative.
Journey from a Paralympic debut to a gold medal
UNC Student and Paralympic Gold Medalist Emma Schieck joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to talk about her experience competing in sitting volleyball in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. Emma talks about how she got into sitting volleyball (1:08), her journey to playing at the national level (6:06). Later, a breakdown of the gold medal match (18:25) and what she feels needs to change regarding Paralympic sports (32:58).
Aranza Vazquez and defining success in Olympic diving
UNC Diver and Olympic finalist Aranza Vazquez joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss everything that led to her success in Tokyo this summer. Aranza talks about how she first got involved with diving (1:15), why she wanted to come to the United States for college (4:25), the process of being named to the Olympic roster (14:00), and her mindset going into the games (28:17). Later, she speaks on being back in Chapel Hill for the school year (34:09) and navigating the new atmosphere of NIL (36:05).
Lack of diversity in collegiate sports administration
UNC Associate Athletic Director and Director of Student-Athlete Development Cricket Lane joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss the lack of diversity and representation in sports administration. Cricket talks about how she got involved with sports (2:49), what she believes is the biggest issue facing sports today (6:14), and her experiences as one of the few women of color in UNC’s athletic department (9:00). Later, she speaks on the recent tenure news around Nikole Hannah Jones (12:00) and what needs to change for sports administration to better represent all athletes (15:53).
Thori Bryan and the USWNT Before its Fame
Former USWNT Defender Thori Bryan joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss the past, present, and future of women’s soccer in the U.S. Thori talks about what made her want to pursue soccer professionally (1:56), her experience with the national team (3:22), and the folding of the Women's United Soccer Association (10:33). Later, Thori speaks on the financial struggles many female professional players face (16:40), and her goal to improve the sport at the youth level and beyond (20:33).
How athletics continue to shape a former UNC athlete’s career at Nike
Former UNC Track and Field athlete Lauren Moody joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss how sports have impacted her life (0:58), shaped her character (3:58), and influenced her career (5:02). Later, Lauren talks about how she has stayed involved with running (8:00), Nike’s efforts to further elevate and support women’s sports (15:31), and how being an athlete has prepared her for her career at Nike today (11:05).
Czech Republic basketball player speaks out about NCAA tournament
UNC Women’s Basketball’s Petra Holešínská joins Benched Host Jules Micchia to discuss the gender inequalities present throughout men’s and women's sports (9:09), specifically in the NCAA tournaments this year (10:21). Earlier, Petra talks about what drew her to UNC for her final year of eligibility (4:54) and her dynamic leadership role on the team (6:41). Finally, she speaks about her professional aspirations both on and off the court (20:29).