Opinion | Sexuality

Female Olympians, Missing in Action

When it comes to female athletes, why does the media have a one-track mind?

The dreams, the sacrifices, the glory, the pageantry, Bob Costas—I don't care if the Winter Olympics are the "less fun cousin" of the Summer Games, for the next two weeks I intend to plant myself in front of the TV and watch as much of the action in Vancouver as possible, starting with tonight's Opening Ceremonies.

In Olympic tradition, 216 athletes will march behind our flag tonight as members of the U.S. Olympic team—123 men, 93 women. But, according to Olympic Women and the Media, a new book by University of Alberta professor Pirkko Markula, the women will have received only 5 percent of pre-Olympics media coverage, and will receive only 25.2 percent during the Games, despite composing half of the team. When those female Olympians do receive attention, Markula notes, it tends to be for their appearance rather than their skill.

Case in point: American skier Lindsey Vonn. She's competing in her third Olympics at age 25, is the current world champion in the Downhill Super-G, ...

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