Winner and loser of the week in pop culture, Olympics edition
Every female athlete who crushed the competition and the patriarchy at the Olympics.
The country’s female olympians have been dominating the first week of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Out of the 16 gold medals the United States has won as of this writing, women took home 10 of them. And we’re just in the first week.
Simone Manuel became the first ever African-American woman to win an individual gold medal in swimming. The 20-year-old swimmer from Texas with a lifetime of intensive training for this moment became a role model in less than a minute — 52.70 seconds to be exact.
Another swimmer, Katie Ledecky, crushed her own world record for the 400-meter freestyle. She’s won three gold medals so far.
At just 19 years old, Simone Biles was already considered the world’s best female gymnast even before the Olympics. She solidified that title by winning the the women’s individual all-around gold medal Thursday. Biles is also part of theU.S. Women’s Gymnastics team with Aly Raisman, Madison Kocian, Gabby Douglas and Laurie Hernandez. Naturally, the team took home the gold.
NBC and anyone else crediting the success of women athletes to men.
While so many talented women were bringing home gold for their countries, many media outlets, including NBC, failed at giving these athletes credit without being sexist jerks. Corey Cogdell, a three-time Olympian trapshooter, won her second bronze medal on Sunday. But instead of, you know, actually naming her, the Chicago Tribune decided to focus on her marriage to Chicago Bears lineman Mitch Unrein in a tweet.
Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu won a gold medal and broke a world record in the 400-meter individual medley. Instead of praising her own accomplishments, NBC panned over to her husband and coach to call him “the man responsible.”
Besides crediting men for their achievements, NBC also compared female Olympians to male counterparts or basically called them great athletes - for girls.
An NBC commentator had to clarify that no, Katie Ledecky doesn’t swim like a man after another commentator compared her to male swimmers.
Another said that Simone Biles “might even go higher than some of the men” after she stuck a near-perfect landing from the uneven bars.
Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer had a baby more than a year ago. She was and still is an incredible athlete. But again, NBC had to focus on her athleticism postpartum, noting that “she hasn’t lost her edge.”
Hey, NBC, Katie Ledecky swims like Katie Ledecky. Simone Biles isn’t the next anyone, she’s the first Simone Biles.Katinka Hosszu is responsible for her own success, not her husband. Corey Cogdell isn’t just a wife of a football player, she’s an Olympian for Pete’s sake.
Women athletes slaying at the Olympics aren’t about men. So if NBC and the rest of the media commentators could recognize that, that would be great.