Thursday, May 31, 2012

Olympic Athletes: Fat?

What do you see when you look at the above photo? I see an Olympic swimmer from the UK. Her name is Rebecca Adlington and she's a two-time gold medalist. Unfortunately, she's a woman, so many people see her as merely an object of beauty, or lack of beauty, and not as an athlete. Because of the people who can't get past the fact that she is famous for something other than her appearance, she will be eschewing social media until after the Olympics.

What do you see when you look at this photo? You may be tempted to say an athlete from the UK named Ennis. I would agree with you. She's Jessica Ennis who is a world champion heptathlete and pentathlete. Sadly, a high-ranking UK Athletics chief said she was "fat and she's got too much weight." Her coach is much more realistic than that chief and has never had an issue with her weight or shape.

This last picture is Louise Hazel another heptathlete who was also criticized for her weight. She's 5'6" and 123 pounds. It appears that is mostly muscle.

I know that criticizing Olympic athletes for their weight or appearance is a sign of ignorance, skewed expectations and possibly jealousy. I wish I could muster some pity for the people making these criticisms, but all I can come up with is anger and disgust. I also wonder if they could compete with these women in any athletic venue or if they're out of shape and are being horribly hypocritical.


  1. Love your post! Crazy to think that even the most notable athletes deal with weight issues in regards to the public eye.

  2. Thanks!!

    I think part of the problem stems from the fact that anti-woman discrimination isn't treated with the same gravity that racial discrimination. If we dealt with that, I think some of this might wane. It won't go away completely, but I think it might lessen.