Ever since the ‘Lympics (both Oly and Para), any story about female athletes that doesn’t come from a dedicated sports magazine just seems to be about them getting married. Or finally getting to dress a bit more feminine. Or planning their wedding. Or swapping trainers for high hells. Or organising their big day. You see, it seems that something the press is still yet to handle is that female athletes can be successful without needing all the attributes that usually make up a celebrity story.
In fairness I feel a bit sorry for the press. I genuinely think most of them do not know what to do with themselves currently. Before London 2012 women’s sport took up a pitiful 5% of sports media coverage. Before Trott, Simmonds and Adams the only women really to receive any media attention for sporting reasons in 2012 were Katie Walsh, who galloped home 3rd on Seabass in the gruelling Grand National, Serena Williams when she stomped all over Wimbledon and….well that’s kind of it really as far as the press were concerned. Now they are faced with a whole host of strong young women who have achieved greatness not by sleeping with the one with the hair off that boy band and cheating on him with his friend (the other one with the hair and the face) , not by wearing the latest Victoria Beckham dress, not by living their lives 24/7 in the public eye, but by training, competing and dedicating everything they have to their chosen sport. Whilst the blonde one with the boobs snoozes away in the latest Big Brother cave, female athletes are already half way through their morning training routine. Whilst the celebrity heiress is taking lessons in how to pose properly on the red carpet, the female athlete is improving her run, jump or throw technique. Whilst the one from that movie stresses over calories, the female athlete pounds down the carbs and protein supplements.
Okay so I exaggerate, but you can see where i’m coming from. Our press have created a world where the likes of Jordan, Kerry Katona, Josie (WHO IS JOSIE!?) and the cast of TOWIE are queen and yet suddenly they are facing opposition from women who have actually done something credible with their lives. They haven’t asked for fame, it has just come off the back of their achievements. So you can see why the press are panicking slightly. They’re lost and trying to make our gold medallists fit into the blue print they’re used to dealing with. Thus the marriage stories, the wedding preparation interviews and the photo features of female athletes NOT IN TRACKSUITS. And WITH MAKE UP ON!!! What they really need to realise is that female athletes aren’t celebrities. They’re athletes and should be treated like athletes.