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The Worst of Sexism and the Best of Feminism at the Rio 2016 Olympics

Been reading a lot of articles recently about all the awful sexist moments to occur at the Rio Olympics so far and, while it is important to highlight these issues, I want to balance them out with some of the highlights of feminism… Just so we don’t all lose total faith in the human race!

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Okay ladies now let’s get in Formation!

Starting off with a bit of good news…

GREAT!

Team U.S.A. set the tone for the games by sending 292 female athletes to the games compared to 263 males. Back in 2012 in London they did so as well and managed to bag more medals than the male competitors… looks like they’re on track to do so again this year!

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Not so great….

American gymnast Simone Biles, a three-time world champ, conquered the uneven bars and managed to stick an almost perfect landing… But that didn’t stop NBC commentator Jim Watson to say something sexist and stupid, “I think she might even go higher than some of the men.” Why do people feel it necessary to compare a woman’s greatness to that of a man’s for it to be taken seriously? Hmm, NBC?!

WOW! AMAZING!

Not one, not two, but three records were broken by the U.S.A’s (yes, again) Women’s Basketball team on Sunday. Their first game at Rio they beat Senegal 121 to 56, the biggest margin in history. Then, they set the record for the most points scored in an Olympic play. If all that wasn’t enough they also broke records for the highest number of assists in a single game.

Oh God… Just NO

Yes folks you read that correctly.. “Wife of” and no mention of the athlete’s name. Corey Cogdell-Unrein is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist but in this charming article by the Chicago Tribune her only worth was related to that of her husband.

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Heart warming…

Yusra Mardini, at only 18 years of age, competes in swimming for the Refugee Team at this years Games. When her and her younger sister fled Syria they were forced to jump from their sinking ship and help pull it to shore. The athlete, who competed for Syria back in 2012, said, “I want to make all the refugees proud of me. It would show that even if we had a tough journey, we can achieve something,”

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Now, this just sounds like something Trump would say…

Immediately after swimmer Katinka Hosszu of Hungary broke the world record in the 400-meter individual medley we cut to another infuriating comment from NBC… Dan Hicks, the commentator behind said infuriation, focuses all the glory on Hosszu’s coach and husband Shane Tusup, saying, “there’s the man responsible for her performance” and that “it’s impossible to tell Katinka’s story accurately without giving appropriate credit to Shane,”. Sure, Shane, like all other coaches, deserves credit where credit is due but the woman had barely dried off. She was the in the pool. She broke the record. Not him.Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 00.30.47

Let’s end on something good, shall we?

Proving that love really does take the gold (that’s the last of the cheesy puns I swear!) women’s rugby star Isadora Cerullo of Brazil was proposed to by her girlfriend Marjorie Enya after the medal ceremony of the inaugural rugby competition. Enya was quoted saying, “She is the love of my life” and “I wanted to show people that love wins.”

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This year’s Games will also see the first same-sex married couple to compete together. British hockey players Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh will be competing in the Olympics for the fourth time this year after helping Great Britain win its first Olympic hockey medal in London in 2012.

 

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