As you all know the Olympics are just around the corner, and Sara and I could not be more excited. Whether it’s gymnastics, swimming and diving, track and field or the lesser touted events, we are so pumped for both the men’s and women’s competitions. And while Saudi Arabia
is not is is only doing it because they have to sending women for the very first time, according to Katie Baker at Grantland, America’s delegation at the Olympics is also historic: for the first time, more than 50% of our Olympians are female. (Although, we should really be realistic here: as Ann Bartow points out on Facebook, the only reason this is true is because the U.S. men’s soccer team did not qualify). Still, go women, go Title IX, go everything!
You should check out Baker’s article, which profiles some exciting women who are competing. Unfortunately, one of the “women” she profiles is a horse. I’m willing to let it slide because the article is a really good, helpful round-up of female athletes, most of whom I readily admit to never having heard of prior to her article. But it’s not the first time that a horse has been included in a list of female athletes. In 2009, a horse came in second place in the Associated Press’s “Female Athlete of the Year” list. Serena Williams came in first, which naturally led to charming headlines such as “Angry nag edges horse for AP Female of the Year honor.” Haha, you see what they did there?
But seriously, that headline is (one of the reasons) why we write this blog. And also this: while trying to find the AP list, not remembering the year or whose Top Ten list it was, I turned to Google and searched “top ten women athletes.” Unfortunately this is what I found:
So the top two results are about hot female athletes, the first of which is from a legitimate news source that often has a lot of good sports content (and where Sara’s and my fantasy baseball league is housed).
So this is why we write. Not so much because of the horse thing, but because while female athletes are kicking ass on an international stage (I’ll throw in here that at Wimbledon this year Serena Williams had 102 aces, more than any of the men, even though women play fewer sets and therefore have fewer service opportunities), sports media fails to legitimize them by focusing on looks instead of athletic ability.