10 August 2012

Women and the Olympics

While criticisms of the coverage of the Olympics by NBC has been widely panned has grabbed the spotlight, the issue of gender again takes a back seat. The use of media in the games has helped to highlight the imbalances in gender coverage and the way that people respond to female athletes. Gabby Douglass, the winner of the women's all-around, was criticized for her hair. Then there is the deservedly maligned "Bodies in Motion" video that featured female athletes at the Olympics competing in events such as undressing, stretching, hugging and wearing as little clothing as possible. Oh, they do dive and stuff, but it is in slow motion for added effect.

You wouldn't know that the US women are carrying the load when it comes to bringing home the medals or the fact that an American teen from Flint, Michigan took home boxing gold yesterday. Or how about that all American beach volleyball final? Did you know that Canada's Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick against the world #1 US women's soccer team; orchestrating what arguably should have been a tremendous upset win? Maybe you saw Ireland go crazy when Katie Taylor won boxing gold? How about that photo finish at the women's triathlon? Did you know that Angola nearly upset the Russians in the opening day of handball?

To take a break from all the mess, here is an excellent video released by Nike as a part of the games. It takes the problem of gender and sports head on to show how it drives some of the top American athletes.

HT Linda