Seriously. I love the Olympics. This is for several reasons, but the biggest one is really this: it’s the only time that women’s sports get almost equal billing, get equal viewership, and a whole lotta press coverage. Sure, it’s also the only time of year that you see handball on TV.
Day to day, women’s sports don’t make it onto ESPN. It’s possible that they do, and I just don’t know about it, but we all know that nobody watches women’s soccer and softball and that all the NCAA bracket pools are for Men’s. I don’t really follow sports, except football, and sometimes women’s basketball, so it’s possible that they do get more coverage, but I doubt it.
The other great thing about the Olympics, besides the fact that my morning Chobani is a reminder that I too, could be an Olympic quality athlete, is that we finally get to see really strong women also being billed as totally magazine worthy. Every few years I seem to get stuck with a subscription to Vogue (it might actually be every four years, because this last happened in 2008) and this year included a cover spread with several female olympic athletes. And finally, women are famous for more than playing tennis or golf while looking hot.
Take, for example, the women’s cycling race. This was aired on Sunday morning, and I spent two hours watching it with my jaw open, and then I cried at the end. 68 women cycled for 140 miles, working together as a team, which is really pretty darn awesome. I didn’t know that about women’s cycling – that it becomes about working together and strategic drafting and cycling of the riders to give each other a break. The three women that broke away with 30 minutes to go worked together to increase the distance between them and the “Pentalon” (main group of riders), and the Pentalon worked like crazy to try to close the gap. And the announcers were soooo into it. It was two men, and they kept talking about how cool and impressive these women were in a really respectful way, which is hard to find in women’s sports, where normally men complain about how boring it is and how slow they are.
Do you have any favorite Olympic sports? Are you a total junkie like me? I’ll watch pretty much anything except vollyball, handball, and water polo.