Why It Matters That Simone Biles Won Times Athlete of the Year Award by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

I remember my first feeling’s of disappointment when Simone Biles pulled out of so many events at the 2021 Olympics. But then I quickly realized that here I was falling for the patriarchal lines that are so much a part of our reality that they become unconscious. Simone Biles taught me. Winning isn’t about slaying your foes (although someone who watches politics here in the US would think so). When Biles withdrew, there were many angry tweets and letters that she wasn’t living up to her promises. Let’s review that. She has been called the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) of her sport. She is the most decorated gymnast in history. She is only 24. What promise has she broken? To whom? And who are we (meaning the public) to even determine what her promise is?

Continue reading “Why It Matters That Simone Biles Won Times Athlete of the Year Award by Janet Maika’i Rudolph”

I’ve Got that Rio Fever by Anjeanette LeBoeuf

AnjeanetteThe Olympics have an illustrious history including historical events taking place during their weeks long events. From Hitler opening the 1936 Olympic games to the terrorist attacks in the 1972 Munich games. The 31st Summer Olympics kicked off officially on August 5th. The Rio Olympics, while being the first South American country to host, has been bogged with controversies and protests. This Rio Olympics are set to etch its own history, but hopefully not for a devastating event but for its progress. Continue reading “I’ve Got that Rio Fever by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”

Olympic Inspiration: My Athletic Mirror by Sara Frykenberg

What I realized was that my ability was different from hers and that I really could, as in ‘I had the ability to,’ decrease our time.  I carried our arms differently; and it surprised me.  I’ve never forgotten this sudden sense of myself and of my own power.

Watching the Olympics this week, I found myself very inspired… and very reflective.  You see I was once an athlete.  Not an Olympic caliber athlete, but an athlete none-the-less.  I swam competitively for eight years.  My events were the 100 and 200 freestyle and the 200 and 400 Individual Medley.  I started swimming in 8th grade.  I worked out 30 hours a week through my last two years of high school; and I was relieved when I started swimming for an NCAA division one team in college because the NCAA limited workout hours to *approximately* 20 per week—so I had more time to study.  I was a swimmer and I was completely dedicated to my sport.

But as I got older, my times slowed and I no longer felt successful; so I began to deny myself the title “athlete.”  It’s still hard for me to claim this title (even when applying it to the past) because my body has changed so much, as has my competitive drive.  I am more comfortable identifying as an academic.  Plus, as therapy and my feminist academic studies helped me to realize, I had often used my swimming to physically punish myself, literally. Continue reading “Olympic Inspiration: My Athletic Mirror by Sara Frykenberg”

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