Bombing down a snowy slope at gold-medal-winning speeds of 85 miles per hour isn't just about having a super smooth swoosh. What Olympic alpine skier Julia Mancuso does off her skis is just as important to her game. For the last seven years, the fierce brunette has been training with Maui-based Scott Sanchez, a two-time alpine skiing Olympian and former Olympic coach for 12 cycles.
Olympic swimmer and gold medal winner Missy Franklin made news with the announcement that she will be retaining her amateur status for the next four years. As such, she "stands to lose millions in endorsement deals," reports Forbes. But a comparison of Franklins' earning potential to that of Michael Phelps underscores the pervasive underrepresentation of female athletes in advertising.
O ne day in JuneDutee Chand was cooling down after a set of meter sprints when she received a call from the director of the Athletics Federation of India, asking her to meet him in Delhi. Earlier that month, Chand won gold in both the meter sprint and the 4-bymeter relay at the Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Taipei, Taiwan, so her hopes for Scotland were high. Chand was raised in Gopalpur, a rural village in eastern India with only intermittent electricity.
Recently, I was sitting on the couch after a long day of work and my parents had the Olympics on TV. In my case, I somewhat agreed. I have learned far too much about the patriarchal operations of our society to disagree that the uniforms might have been originally intended for sex appeal and for appearances at least in addition to practicality for playing the sport. During this night, my family and I descended into a heavy debate concerning the validity of these uniforms and the surrounding feminism or lack thereof in requiring bikinis for women playing beach volleyball.
For Olympic athletes, the pursuit of smooth skin goes beyond aesthetics. A hairless body is more aerodynamic according to triathlete Katie Zaferes who always shaves on race day. When it comes to makeup, hurdler Sydney McLaughlin performs better with mascara on.
It is the WNBA. A thigh gap, for the six people still unfamiliar with the term, is created by thighs so slender, they do not touch when a woman stands with her feet together. Not a million-dollar YouTube contract, not a boyfriend though presumably that would follownot world peace or, heaven forbid, an A in Advanced Algebra.
These beautiful babes are in top physical condition and spend a good amount of time wearing next to nothing in and out of the water. These sexy swimmers are some of the hottest female athletes around. Becoming a world famous swimmer takes years of practice and training.
Updated: August 3, pm. This summer in the London Olympics, I suspect that the beach volleyball competition will not be as popular with most men, and a few women for that matter, as in years past. A new rule change that was handed down from the International Volleyball Federation has eliminated the mandatory bikini as a uniform for players in one of the most eye-catching sports on the docket. Beach volleyball players are now able to wear shorts and shirts instead of the traditional bikini in an effort to broaden the appeal of the sport to players from nations with more modest tastes, such as many nations in the Middle East.
During the two weeks of the games, female athletes will get more screen time than they usually do—the rest of the year, all but four percent of airtime is dedicated to male athletics. In that short period of time, each Olympian needs to capitalize on media exposure and endorsements to fund the next four years of training. For women this has traditionally meant playing up sex appeal.
Skimpy outfits, made-up faces, smoothly waxed bodies. These are some of the images that come into my head when I think of the Olympics. I'm the first to admit that I know very little about athletics in general and professional athletics on the level of the Olympics in particular, and I'm certainly not sporty in any way myself unless fast typing or incessant talking count as new sports. So perhaps I'm going about it all wrong when I look at athletes, especially female ones, and wonder why their bodies are so hairless and why their leotards and sports bras seem to barely cover their flesh.