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”

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”


The first “Olympics” were races of girls of various age-groups around a 500 foot stadium in ancient Olympia. The races of girls were held every four years on the new moon of the month of Parthenios (September/October). They were dedicated to Hera Parthenos who renewed her virginity in the river Parthenias. The winners of the races wore olive crowns and feasted on the flesh of Hera’s sacred cow.

These “Olympics” for Hera and for girls came before the more celebrated Olympics for men that were dedicated to Olympian Zeus. The temple of Hera at Olympia is older than the temple for Zeus and the girls’ Olympics were tied to the more ancient lunar calendar.

What did the girls’ Olympics celebrate? Continue reading “WHEN THE OLYMPICS CELEBRATED THE STRENGTH OF GIRLS AND THE RENEWAL OF LIFE by Carol P. Christ”

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