Record-breaking Olympian sprinter and 19-year-old Londoner Dina Asher-Smith takes centre-stage in this new short film directed by Rai Nadal. As she sits on an electric-blue running track in her yellow, Virgil Abloh-crafted Nike kit, Britain’s fastest woman declares: ”There’s no other place I feel so unapologetically myself. It’s made me understand myself so much better – both physically and mentally.”
The film is Nadal’s extended cut of Nike’s latest campaign and showcases Athlete in Progress, the new collaborative line from the sportswear giant and Abloh. Created in celebration of track and field sportspeople, the film centres on Asher-Smith’s London heritage and how sport is essential to her physical and mental wellbeing.
An advocate of girls and young women participating in sports for those reasons, the champion sprinter is well aware of how many stop taking part once they reach secondary school. In August this year, gal-dem reported that by the time girls in the UK reach 14 years old, they’re already dropping out of sport at twice the rate that boys do. That figure is higher for girls from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Although a number of factors play a role – including puberty, a family’s financial situation and simply not being interested in sports anymore – there’s also a perception, as gal-dem says, that “sport isn’t cool – that it’s not feminine enough.” Asher-Smith rejects that. Exuding cool, femininity and strength she demonstrates how being a powerful, elite sportsperson goes hand in hand with feminine expression, both on and off the tracks.
Watch the video below.