Friday, August 12, 2016

Rio

I've been watching the Olympics and find myself enjoying the competition and can appreciate what the athletes have done in practice and sacrifice to get where they are today. While the events and medals are nice, I must admit, I've gotten sidetracked on lessor things such as why the dive pool is green, Ryan Lochte's hair color, and what I think is a pretty ridiculous set of statements.

I recently read an article that stated the Olympic gymnast coach of the US men's team was envious of the women's team recent wins and performances. He then stated that the women's gymnastics team garners more attention than their male counterparts unfairly, and went as far to say that the differences in age and responsibilities among the men and women were to blame.

To justify his statement, the coach explained that because the women's team is mostly composed of teenagers they are less stressed in life compared to their post-college and sometimes married counterparts. The daily stress of life cause the men to be less focused on their talent? That's exactly what he said. Ironically, he did not point out that there were 3 distinct falls from his team members causing them to score poorly in their events. (And he obviously doesn't recall how stressful being a teen and trying to fit in can be!)  

The article went on to state that the men watched the women seemingly enjoy their craft, and that they looked comfortable and confident in their routines. Both traits they themselves wished to possess. I would think that only a person who truly loves their sport could be committed enough in heart and soul to be good at it. At least, gold medal good. So what gives? The guys are jealous that they don't do as well and don't enjoy their sport as much as the women? 

Perhaps the men should take advantage of the coaching programs offered and used by their female counterparts. The women's team has a mental health coach to help the girls with the stresses of life, the sport,and the rugged practice regime. What's wrong with a guy getting some mental help? They obviously can't pile on the make up and stack their hair with a massive amount of pins, bows and barrettes to equal the playing ground (another disadvantage to the men's team per the article), so here's an idea. Get good, or get out.

Given the historical and current inequities between the sexes, especially in the work force, I have little tolerance of any group calling injustice when women succeed based on hard work and talent. Representatives of the men's team went on to say that the media does a better job of covering the female events, further adding to their male detriment. Perhaps the low media coverage does play a part in the lack of general interest in men's gymnastics. Is it fair? Probably not. But I will assume that part of the media's (obvious) job is to give the world what it wants. And that, is the women's gymnastics team. One could argue the same logic in reverse when it comes to other sports such as men and women's basketball - which one receives the better coverage? But I digress.


Barring the (small) compliment that they did acknowledge the grace and presence of their female counterparts, the men sound like a sad bunch of whiners. I would expect competitors at the Olympic level be a much better sport about their sport. The world isn't fair in it's battle of the sexes and seriously, if you want to say that the women have an edge on you (as a man) in gymnastics because they're younger, wear make up, aren't married, and enjoy their sport, well you're part of what's wrong with the world. The women's gymnastics team flat out, out performed the (US) men and every other country's females on the mats. And more so, they have the medals to prove it.  

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