Norma Sherry: Girls Of The Olympics
Girls Of The Olympics
By Norma Sherry
Playboy Magazine arrived in our mailbox yesterday. On the cover was a striking Olympiad in a rather demure bathing suit, but the promised story was far different. Twelve pages, Playboy boasted, of nude Olympiads. Now, I'm not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but "nude Olympiads"?
My first response remained my lasting impression. 'Why would women who have worked their entire lives to become the best in their sport, resort to such depths to gain notoriety?' There they were standing, stretching, diving, flexing, sprinting, posing, hands above their heads, breasts, butts, legs and everything in between naked as a Blue Jay. Gone was their skin of spandex that outlined every developed muscle. Gone were their bathing suits, that barely contained their protruding little butt cheeks. Gone too was the mystique, the dignity, the respect, and the honor.
Miss America dethrones a Miss for a dalliance such as this; should a world-class athlete be likewise treated? In a world were there is little that joins us in spirit and pride, naked Olympic athletes is more than a little depressing. The Olympics, which has long held the world in awe has now been, in my estimation, diminished by the ladies misguided capitalism. The shortsighted photo op of the naked female Olympiads has reduced them to tawdry sexual oddities rather than the esteemed, sought after, premier athletes they worked so hard to become.
Now, the Olympiad 12 can be forgotten for their true talent and forever remembered for their Playboy pictorial and joined in the ranks of nothingness with, The Swedish Bikini Team, The Girls of the Big 12, The Babes of Baywatch, The Stripper Next Door, The Flying Girls, The Porno Girls, The Biker Babes, and Pussycat Dolls. I would think just being termed "girl" would be offensive enough not to participate in any pictorial, nude or not. Apparently not.
Posing nude has never catapulted, (forgive the pun), any woman or girl into stardom. Carmen Electra posed nude and she still can't find work. Christina Applegate, remember her from Married with Children-- and what else? Spring Break girls were a tease for the guys and an obvious embarrassment for the parents and grandparents, but it was certainly not a boom for any of the girls.
Then, there were the get even, I'm mad as hell, politician's x-wives, the movie stars of yesteryear trying desperately to show off their considerable talents, the wannabees, the has-beens, even the women of Enron. When we think of these women, do we hope some day that our daughter too will be so lucky? After all, who doesn't want their precious daughter to aspire to such heights?
Playboy and other such magazines will always find willing subjects but shame on Fanni Juhasz, Hungary's Olympian photographed in the nude, on the beach, brandishing her 15-foot pole, squinting from the sun. Shame too, that Ukrainian two-time Olympian, Zhanna Block, the 100-meters sprinter who is naked except for her sneakers, tensed and ready for the signal to run felt the need to be photographed nude. It's a shame, too that the adorable, Ineta Radevica, the Latvian jumper, sat in a coquettish pose with sand dusted on her perfect bare derriere; or that the Canadian 1500-meters runner, Katie Vermeulen, was photographed kneeling naked against a rock with her arms behind reaching for her toes.
It's a shame, too, that Germany's Susan Tiedtke-Green, three-time Olympian long jumper's nude photo of her will replace her prior performance-enhancing accusation in disrepute. Shame too on our own Amy Acuff, two-time Olympian high jumper, who earned herself a two-page spread, and Haley Clark, world champion and world-record holder, backstroke swimmer, stunningly photographed on one of her two-pages, on her back in the water, eyes closed, and her arms outstretched above her head, and although beautifully shot, the need to do so naked befuddles the mind. And lastly, it's a shame that Pole Vault athlete, Mary Sauer, bared it all as she laid naked with her blonde hair flowing and her back, butt, and long legs stretched over two-pages.
The question that begs to be answered is why? Why would world-class athletes demean themselves in such a way? Was money the root of their need? Was it a ploy in their strategy for later deals of product endorsements? Did they resort to doing so to pay for their years of struggle, commitment, and hard work? Whatever the reason, the actions of these few Olympians has tainted and defiled the Olympics and the philosophy of past, present, and future Olympians.
© Norma Sherry 2004
Norma Sherry is co-founder of TogetherForeverChanging.org, an organization devoted to educating, stimulating, and igniting personal responsibility particularly with regards to our diminishing civil liberties. She is also an award-winning writer/producer and host of television program, The Norma Sherry Show, on WQXT-TV, Florida.
Email Norma: email@example.com