home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 8, 2016

Stacy Lewis

Megan Rapinoe

Shawn Johnson

Lisa Leslie

Sammamish, Washington

KRAIG KANN: Good afternoon everybody. As most of you know taking place today here at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship is the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit onsite here at Sahalee. Condoleezza Rice and Annika Sorenstam were serving as keynote speakers, with the focus on elevating women in business. The Summit is linked to a major championship in women's golf, as you all know.

As part of the summit today some world class athletes have shared their experiences. And we want to welcome them here today. One I know you're well aware of, she sits in these press conferences at almost every major. And that is No. 6 in the Rolex Women's World Rankings. Say hello to Stacy Lewis.

We also have four-time Olympic gold medalist, basketball star, Lisa Leslie is here.

Four-time Olympic medalist gymnast, Shawn Johnson, is here.

Olympic soccer gold medalist Megan Rapinoe.

I know you've been quite busy, because we've been watching you all on TV as this thing was broadcast today.

Stacy, let's start with you. This is your turf, this is your golf course, this is your Major Championship. Sharing the stage, though, with these Olympic greats. How important is a conference like this, right? Second year at this major. To raise awareness and opportunity for women's leadership in your mind?

STACY LEWIS: This week is really special for me. This tournament was a vision we had with KPMG of not just doing a golf tournament but doing something to make an impact in the business world and outside of sports. In year two it's been pretty successful, I think, so far.

This conference just gets bigger every year. To have these ladies come and share their stories, I feel like the odd man out up here. I'm the only one without an Olympic medal, so I have some work to do.

It's just an honor to have them here. They have great insight into what's come up for me and it's great to hear what's made them successful. I think I can even learn from that.

So it's just a special week and I'm proud of what KPMG has done and just proud to be a part of it.

KRAIG KANN: What was your message in there, Stacy, what did you say?

STACY LEWIS: For me it's a lot about my story. Because my story is what's made me successful. The injuries and the surgery, that's made me who I am. I wouldn't be where I am without it.

We talked a lot about just the mental side. And facing adversity. And going through things. That just makes you mentally stronger. And I think that's what the best athletes do. They're the best mentally out there.

You can see a difference in what makes people great. You can see it just by talking to them for a few minutes. And I think you saw that with all four of us.

KRAIG KANN: Shawn, how about your experiences, as a world class athlete and the lessons you've learned in sports? How do you share that with those that were in there and how does that apply to business in your mind?

SHAWN JOHNSON: I don't know, I feel like it comes down to sharing your experiences, like Stacy was saying. I don't think we're there to preach to these already incredibly successful women how to be successful. I think we're just there to kind of share what we've gone through and hope that maybe they can take something away from it.

I know, I think probably for all of us, it's just kinds of working hard. Hard work pays off. We've put in the grit and the hours and it's paid off.

I don't know, I think for kids, too, with me, it's just telling them and showing them that if you work hard enough you can accomplish anything.

KRAIG KANN: First golf experience for you, at a major championship?

SHAWN JOHNSON: Yes, first major golf experience.

KRAIG KANN: Have you met some players, aside from Stacy?

SHAWN JOHNSON: Annika. Zach Johnson. I know him.

KRAIG KANN: He's not here this week. He's not in the field. Well, it's great to have you here.

Lisa, we actually shared the stage a couple of weeks ago in New York at a summit talking about the concept of women in sports. But here this week it's women in business. And your role in sports has translated into business for you. What was your message today?

LISA LESLIE: I think we talked a lot about our Olympic experiences. But when it comes to business, some of the tenacity that it's taken for us to reach the goals that we've achieved, I talked about being a goal setter. And for me setting goals, whether it was grades I wanted to get in school or what I wanted to accomplish on the court, it translated over into business and setting business goals. Whether it's some failed business ventures that I've been a part of, and also being very successful in business and in my career in broadcasting.

For me I feel the sky is the limit. If you write it down, you put it out there. It's important to stay focused on those goals and not limit yourself. But also I talked about the 10 percent and the 90 percent. The 10 percent is whatever the problem is, being able to remove the emotion, and being able to think like a problem solver, rather than being too emotional about it. And that's also been some of my keys of my success during the tough times. Even in business we always experience some degree, whether the competition is beating you or you're not quite accomplishing what you wanted to do, you have to not sort of fold under pressure. You have to figure out here's the problem and how do we solve it. Those were a few things that I shared.

The last thing was the 7 Ps that I got from my mom. But it helped me be pretty successful and that's proper prior preparation prevents piss poor performance. Which is basically you have to prepare. You have to work hard if you want to be successful, if you want to get some great outcome of anything that you do, you have to prepare. And it seems very simple and cliché, but a lot of times sometimes people just show up. You don't pass the test without studying. That was something that my mom had shared with me and I kept using that over and over throughout my career and it's really helped. Is.

KRAIG KANN: Altogether now let's repeat that five times in a row. I don't know how you did that.

LISA LESLIE: Trust me, I heard it a lot.

KRAIG KANN: One more for you, and by the way, we've got the winners of the Drive Chip and Putt National Championship the girls that won in Augusta. They're out here seeing their idols.

Back to the message you talked about a few weeks ago, and that was just the whole concept of empowering women. And how things have changed, not just in sport, but overall. The platform being raised and opportunities being given, et cetera. How have you seen a change in the last ten years or maybe longer, you can pick the amount of time.

LISA LESLIE: I think change is constantly happening, because we had so many strong men, and a lot of times we make the conversation it's all about women. But it's really been also about men. We have supportive men. I have a supportive husband. There are a lot men who are in a position in corporations who are making the changes in understanding the importance of having women in that diversity participating.

So I think the change is happening and sometimes we look at statistics. We say there's only four percent of CEOs, and a small number really at the top making those decisions. But guess what? Those four percent of trying to help open doors for other women. I think we're making our way and continuing to be supportive.

But I also encourage for parents to make sure they recognize having girls in sports they're more likely to be successful in business. They're more likely to be able to overcome obstacles in life, they're more likely not to get pregnant early. There are so many positive things that happen for like these young women sitting in front of us because they're involved in sports they're more likely to be successful in business.

I think it all comes full circle. I want to say thank you to all the men out there who are supportive who are "leaning in," as we say, and being supportive of a woman and making the change. We're getting there. But the fight is real. We're not going away. We deserve to have our opportunity. And I always say it's not our fault we were born girls, we want to play, too.

KRAIG KANN: You played really well.

LISA LESLIE: I tried to play really well.

KRAIG KANN: So does the Washington women's team that won the title. Just wanted to recognize you since you're in the room.

Megan, I don't know whether you notice this, this isn't the first time the LPGA or women's golf, has brought Olympic athletes together, in fact soccer was an a big part earlier this year at the ANA Inspiration. Given the stage there, Abby Wambach and others were taking part.

Is the stage like this an opportunity for you to go in there and speak or sit here in front of the media, jazz you up almost like you're competing? And what is your message to everybody?

MEGAN RAPINOE: It does jazz me up. First of all to be sitting next to amazing women like this. I think that's one thing from my career that as I've gotten a little bit older I realize how special it is to be around so many successful, powerful driven women. And I think that's a really unique experience to be at the very top of what you do as a woman. And for me being on a team, having 20 or 25 other women oftentimes you don't have that. Like Lisa was saying, I think four percent of CEOs, oftentimes when you're a woman at the top there's a lot of dudes around you. Not that that's always a bad thing, but a little bit of both is nice.

For me it's an opportunity to keep pushing forward. Keep pushing forward the conversation. We talked a lot about today women in sports and in business. And when I think of sports I think of business. It's absolutely a business. And I think for a long time women's sports wasn't always necessarily thought of like that or treated like that.

I think there's so many opportunities to make money and to grow the sport and to really blow it out in the way that men's sports are blown out. And you're seeing that. We look back at our World Cup final, 27 million people watched that game. And that's great. I think, awesome fans. But then I'm like, monetize that, what does that actually mean? What does that mean for sponsorships? What does that mean investing down into the youth? What does that mean for academy programs and for referees and for women's coaches? And for kind of building that foundation that can really propel women's sports into another level that we haven't seen before.

KRAIG KANN: Well said. We'll take some questions.

Stacy before we take the first question, golf seems like a sport that really does bring athletes together. Maybe they don't all -- do you all play golf?


KRAIG KANN: We got a big head shake right there.

LISA LESLIE: It's like subjective. We swing.

KRAIG KANN: Athletes love to gather, and golf courses are a great place.

Stacy, how much listening to you actually do in an arena like you were just in? Hearing these other messages that you could actually use with young girls or other ventures that you might have?

STACY LEWIS: I had to kind of catch myself, that he's going to ask me the same question in a second. Because I was just listening to what they were saying.

I just think anytime you can be around other athletes, and especially being as successful as they've been, you can learn something. And I've tried to do that all along the way. Whether it's golfers or other sports I think there's something to be learned and that's just something I've always done along the way.

For me it was another learning opportunity. I loved hearing their stories and what they've been through. Some of it's similar. You hear similar things that have gone through my head. I've had the doubts that Shawn talked about. So it's nice to hear what somebody is going through the same thing, too.

Q. This is a question for the group. A lot of people don't think golf deserves to be an Olympic sport. My question to you is do you think it deserves to be an Olympic sport? And if so, why?
KRAIG KANN: Why don't we start with Stacy.

STACY LEWIS: I think golf should be in the Olympics, absolutely. I mean we need to up the participation. I think that's the biggest thing we'll get out of the Olympics is that we're going to reach a lot more people than we do now. But I absolutely think it should be there.

I never thought it would be, I can tell you that. As a kid and watching the Olympics, going to the Atlanta games, I never thought I would actually be -- be there or have the opportunity to be there. But I think it's a great thing.


LISA LESLIE: I think all sports should be in the Olympics. I'm sure it's a budget -- reasons for budget and why some sports aren't allowed. I was sad when they cut out softball. I just think that there is an opportunity for women who play sports and men who play sports. I'm sure -- I don't see why they wouldn't have an opportunity other than if it comes down to budget and there's not enough money to all the different sports. But aside from that, of course, absolutely. She should be able to have a gold medal placed around her neck, as well.

STACY LEWIS: No trying crying, though. No crying, right?


KRAIG KANN: Shawn, let's go to you, what do you think?

SHAWN JOHNSON: I would say you have three people who have won Olympic medals, if you put us on a golfing range, we would barely be able to hit the ball, it would be so frustrating. I mean golf is a true talent and a true skill. You invest thousands of hours trying to perfect it. In the Olympics you're talking about people who have mastered the art of a specific sport. So a thousand percent it should be.

MEGAN RAPINOE: Yeah, absolutely. It's a huge global sport played by women and men all around the world. That's really what the Olympics is all about. Bringing everybody together from all these different countries that have sort of a common goal, common sport. And golf is absolutely one of those.

Q. Stacy, so how do you be involved in this tournament business-wise?
STACY LEWIS: Besides playing golf? I've been involved the whole week. You've seen what I've done today with the Summit. With the sponsor being there, there's a lot going on. There's a lot of requests. I guess I was a part of making this tournament possible, more than anything.

We actually in Seattle -- how many years ago -- 2013 we were in Seattle here doing an event. And I got done and I was speaking to the women there. And just kind of talked about how everybody is a role model, whether you're a CEO or you just started your job or you're a golfer, play soccer, whatever, you're a role model. And that was kind of my message to these women was that somebody is always watching you. You kind of have to be on your toes.

From my message there, John Veihmeyer, the COE at the time, the idea was turned into this tournament. And they obviously took the idea to the extreme with this summit and went crazy with it. But they saw the opportunity and they -- the biggest thing for me is I gave them a list. I said, you know, we need a big purse. We need a big venue and network TV. Those are the three big things I said we needed for our majors and they killed it. They knocked it out of the park the first year. And this year is even better. And it's only going to continue getting better.

So if we're talking about raising purses for women and giving us more of an opportunity, KPMG has been on the forefront of that and they've raised the bar for all of our tournaments. The U.S. Open has slowly upped their purse, because of what we've done here. The other majors have started to up their purses. So it takes sponsors like KPMG, and we've got a ton on this Tour, but to take a chance and to say that we want to make a difference here. And it's starting. And this week is a big part of it.

Q. I just had a question about sports and technology, kind of the intersection. Lisa you were talking about social media. And Lisa you referenced recovery, and how that's getting faster. What do you think about the intersection and whether tech is good or maybe bad? Whether it's coaching or playing or watching?
LISA LESLIE: I think tech is great. I think when you talk about having information at your fingertips and being able to learn. You probably can't be as great as everyone, but you get a chance to learn some of the ins and outs of what great athletes are doing or what great business men and women are doing. I love technology and the fact that we have so much information and the ability to have access to it 24/7.

I think social media also can be used as a great platform. A lot of things I try to do in my area as an athlete, as a mom, as a broadcaster, is just being positive and showing people who I am as a person and some of my values and how I've been able to achieve some of those things and some of those positive quotes that I talked about.

So I think social media can be great and very valuable for an individual as well as companies in showing loyalty. And obviously apps are really huge now. You get a chance to really find out how loyal people are to your company. And companies are able to use those apps to really figure out their consumers.

So I think, obviously, yeah, it's great for our country, our world, and you're connecting people. But there are some down sides to it. The trolling things that happen and all the negativity that comes from it, and some of the negative influences that some young people have an opportunity to see and get influenced on. Those are the parts -- that's just the dark side that I think is always going to exist.

But I think media and having social media is definitely something that's positive and can be used in a very positive way to influence and to help create change.

MEGAN RAPINOE: I think especially in women's sports, at least historically, we've seen kind of a lack of information in a lot of ways. So I think for -- personally for an athlete, you have a chance to kind of build your brand in a way that you want or sort of curate it in a certain way, just to get information out.

But I think it's another way that you can really build out the sport and give information about the sport, whether that's a sponsor doing it or whether that's the governing body doing it or the certain athletes. It's a way that people, especially women's sports, can learn a lot more, whether that's about the particular athletes or their stats or tournaments that they're playing in or their ranking or whatever. I think you can pretty much find anything on Twitter these days.

Q. How do you think having golf in the Olympics will help raise the profile for athletes like Stacy Lewis, for example, who obviously play week in and week out? But how can their endorsement deals change or just exposure change being an Olympic athlete?
LISA LESLIE: I would say the year of the Olympics it's an interesting time where people really set their clocks, set their DVRs and really watch. And it's a time where you really get an audience around the world watching a lot of sports. I remember watching even the Winter Olympics, excuse me for my ignorance, I don't know the name of that sport when they sweep the floor -- what is that? Curling? I watch that and I'm so amazed I don't know anything about it, it's just so cool. I've never done it.

So I think that the Olympics sometimes, it's a great opportunity for kids to learn about new sports, for adults to learn about sports and watch something that you've maybe never watched before.

To be an American and see an American out there, I'm going to stop and watch longer than I would, because I'm rooting for my country to win. I think it's really about having that opportunity and that platform to play, but you never know whose life you're going to change. We don't know in ten years what little girl is going to say I saw Stacy and I want to be like her, and she could be the next best player. And that's the beauty of us having the opportunity to be role models for other boys and girls.

KRAIG KANN: Clearly golf has a wonderful opportunity that they haven't had in years upon years. I'm sitting here and looking across at not only young girls there, but the University of Washington. And I'm thinking about the transformation of the Olympic Games from amateur, to now many professionals. I'm curious, since we have this opportunity with all of you up here, where do you see that line? Stacy is going to go one for gold and has that great opportunity. And I'm not going to let her answer this one first.

Do you think it's a great thing that professional basketball players and professional athletes who are paid for their sport are able to compete in the Olympics? What do you think, Lisa?

LISA LESLIE: I think it's a hundred percent great. We were one of the last countries to send our pros to play in the Olympics. And we had some of our collegiate athletes mostly playing. And as we began to lose and not play gold, especially specifically in basketball. It was when we finally in 1992 called on the Dream Team, the pro players, and sent them. And then it was like a massacre, right? (Laughter.)

But we kind of get to the point where we're a very competitive country. I lived in Italy for a while, and some of my Italian friends and family, and they're like, they just don't approach the sport the same way that we do, from a very young age, where it's about winning. We play Uno with my kids, and my son is crying because he lost. We are a very competitive people. And I think that we want to win, not necessarily at all costs, but why not send the best of the best?

I think in each sport it's a little bit different. Obviously we don't want a 30 year old in gymnastics out there competing. So I think it does definitely vary in sports. But we definitely want to send the best that we have, and that's probably regardless of age.

One of the quotes that I always say, it's not about age, it's about effort. It's about putting out the best effort that you have. And for us, we want to send our best athletes and not base it off of the age that they are.

KRAIG KANN: Shawn, a comment from you on that? I also want to hear from Megan.

SHAWN JOHNSON: Gymnastics is very unique when it comes from amateur to pro. In gymnastics we are so young when we're competing, that our amateur and pro is a totally different system. You can be amateur or pro and still compete. 90 percent of the girls are amateur when they are competing at the Olympics. For us, it really doesn't make a difference. The only difference is pro is getting paid. But 90 percent of the time that's honestly just trying to cover costs for family, for training. We're not getting paid millions of dollars. I think almost any female athlete in the Olympic Games can tell you, it's just about trying to help your performance, and help your family.

For us amateur, if we don't select money, it just means that we can go to college under scholarship. It's different for us, because we are so young. But I don't see a negative to it either way.

MEGAN RAPINOE: I think it's great that the pros -- in so far as the huge sponsors are making the hundreds of millions, probably billions of dollars off the Olympics. I'm definitely not going to be trying to go for amateur.

I think the athletes are the ones putting on the show, putting on the work, spending hours of dedication, showing up under pressure and performing. And there's no reason that any athletes that are performing in such a marquee event like that, broadcast globally, with the amount of sponsorship dollars going around.

And unfortunately for women's sports, and your sport in particular, you have to choose between an education and maybe taking money. But it's not really that much. Gymnastics in the Olympics, obviously one of the marquee sports, and something that millions and millions of people tune into, you should be making millions of dollars. They're definitely making millions of dollars off you.

I think for those athletes, no matter what age, I think they've put in the hard work and they deserve that.

KRAIG KANN: Stacy, here is why I didn't let you answer until now. The reason is because I think you would say that you have this great opportunity. And if you put amateur golfers out there, again, they wouldn't be as recognizable. But even the professional stars in women's golf are having an opportunity, perhaps, that they would never get otherwise to reach the highest possible platform that they could globally. Do you believe that's the greatest gift of the Olympics for women's golf?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think if you look at the Olympics, you have the best athletes, the best of the best. And for golf, why would you not have the best players in the world be there? And as she was talking I thought if you have amateurs go, you're running in the same trouble the NCAA is running into now. You've got all these companies and sponsors making a lot of money off kids that aren't getting paid. Then you run into this whole issue that they're trying to do with football and all that right now.

I think the pros should be there. I think -- because you want the best of the best. There might still even be a couple of amateurs sneak in there, because you can be an amateur in our World Rankings and still make the Olympics.

I want to compete against the best. I want the best player to win. And I think that's what's going to happen.

KRAIG KANN: I'm looking behind you, and I know it's a big part of KPMG and the Women's PGA Championship. And it says "Inspire Greatness." We've got greatness on this stage in the form of Olympic athletes and major champions in women's golf. You've got an a great opportunity here with young girls and collegiate girls and everybody, really, because you gave that message earlier.

To inspire greatness, what is your message for those to raise their own game, personally and professionally, and what would you tell these young girls?

LISA LESLIE: My suggestion would be to write it down first. I think for me I said it earlier, is just writing down your goals of what you want to do. What do you want to achieve? And when you write down the goal, whether it's to be No. 1 in the world in golf or it's to be a doctor, write it down. And then work your way back to figure out what do you have to do to reach that goal.

And sometimes what that means is writing it down one year at a time. In the first year, what is it going to take? You're going to have to get some good grades, probably really excel in science if you want to be a doctor.

And then you write down your golf goals or your sports goal. And then you say what is it going for me to be the Pac-12 Player of the Year? You start from small goals and you work your way through. What do you have to do? Practice. Who's the best player right now on my team? What is she doing? Let me be her golf partner. Let me practice with her. Let me do some extra time and hours.

It really is a disciplined, organized, methodical way to reach the best, whatever it is you wanted to do. It doesn't happen by chance. It doesn't happen that one day you showed up and you were the best person left standing. It doesn't. We've all worked hard and made extra sacrifices. Stacy talked about her coach telling her to make 14 out of 18. And she put in her head 16 out of 18. That's called self motivation.

Something I share with my kids, there's something called discipline. Discipline is doing what you're supposed to do. But self discipline is doing what you're supposed to do without being told. And those of us who are the most successful are the most self-disciplined players and people. Be self-disciplined.

But also ask yourself why not me? Somebody's got to be No. 1. Somebody's got to be the best. And I used to say why not me? There's another girl in China. There's another girl in Australia. There's another girl in Cuba who is working. Don't let her out work you today. Every single day the world is your competition, and you can make it. You can do it. I promise you can. I did it. You can do it.

SHAWN JOHNSON: The greatest advice I was ever given was when I was like four or five years old and that was from my coach, he said to genuinely have fun. He said no success comes from kind of forcing something that you don't love. And he always told me that I fall in love with gymnastics first, then the success will come easier.

Hard work does pay off. You have to put in the hours, the blood, sweat, tears. But if you truly fall in love with something it makes it so much easier and more worth it -- terrible grammar (laughter).

But, yes, I always kind of tell kids that I coach that you have to fall in love with it first, and then everything else kind of falls into place. Find a passion and work for it.

MEGAN RAPINOE: I have to go after you every time and you say the exact same thing that I'm going to say.

To touch on that, enjoy it. For you guys, you want to be golfers or for you college kids you want to be pro golfers. It's fun. You get to do this -- for us, we've done this for a living. This is what we do for our job. And it's fun. Yes, there's hard work and there's sacrifice and there's an element that it is your job, but it's also fun. You get to do what you love.

And the second thing that we talked about in there is just to be you. You're never going to be anyone else. You can kind of steal little bits from everyone's game. So obviously from your golfers, watch the tournaments, watch these girls play. See what they're doing. See what their training habits are, and then take that and mold that into what is best for you and what you do best, and kind of create your own unique game with using everything that's around you.

So just be you, enjoy it, and dream big.

STACY LEWIS: Well, I agree with everything they said. But what I would add is, especially to your college girls, is to surround yourself with the right people. Once you get to a certain point, not that we're making a ton of money or anything, but there is going to be people that want to take advantage of you and think that they know all the answers to all the questions. Make sure you surround yourself with good people.

I've been fortunate along the way that I got a good group of people around me and some people I can always call to for advice. And you need the one or two people, too, that will call you and tell you when you're doing something wrong. You can't have people to just tell you what you're doing right. Sometimes you need a little slap on the wrist to shape up little bit.

So make sure you have those people in your life. And anything is possible. For you girls down here, I shot 90 in my first high school tournament. So I think you guys are probably way ahead of me by now. But anything really is possible.

LISA LESLIE: 90 is bad? (Laughter.)

STACY LEWIS: We can let these girls take you on.

KRAIG KANN: This is a great week for women's golf and certainly made better by you all up here. Thank you so much for taking some time to speak to the executive leaders on the business side and to all of us in the media center. We appreciate it very much.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297