While I’ve been working on my homage to the former Olympic event of Art (yes, art, see my first Olympic blog post if this is news to you) I’ve been knee-deep in the newspaper. I’ve been more than a little disappointed at some of the headlines and amount of coverage certain athletes are receiving:
The photo that I took above is an excellent illustration of my point. In the first event that Michael Phelps could have medaled in, he didn’t. Ryan Lochte, another American did. 1) Why did Phelps get the majority of the back page of the Sports Section in the Chicago Tribune – and Lochte, the gold medal winner, get only a small photo? 2) Why did the media decide that because he didn’t medal in one event, that the games were pretty much over for him? Both of those headlines are wildly inappropriate, especially the one that reads ‘Failps’.
This was the first of several times that I noticed the athlete that fell short of their Olympic goal got significantly more coverage than the athlete that met or exceeded their Olympic dreams. Jordyn Wieber also got full-page color-photo coverage when she didn’t make the all-around as expected. It saddens me that the media would rather rub salt in the wounds of those that are still licking their wounds, rather than praise those that might not have a big name, but won gold, or broke a record, or where thrilled to win bronze.
Part of the reason the Olympics are so near and dear to my heart is that it is a reminder that the human spirit knows no bounds. These athletes are pushing themselves to be better than their previous selves, direct competitors and previous champions. To go faster, soar higher and compete harder. As someone who will likely never achieve any form of athletic accomplishment in her life, the games inspire me in other ways. How can I apply the essence of the human spirit to my craft, how can I achieve my American dream?