Women's Sport and Spectacle: Gendered Television Coverage and the Olympic Games

By Gina Daddario | Go to book overview

poverty as was underscored in the profile on Ana Quirot, the Cuban athlete who nearly burned to death while washing her clothes using an archaic laundry method. Commercialism, or what Michael Real calls the "post-modern culture of excess," is evident in all aspects of the telecast, even outside of the feminine narrative form, including the commercial endorsements of specifically celebrated athletes; the ubiquitous placement of the corporate sponsors" logos; the on-air commentary of former U.S. Olympians,, such as NBC aquatics announcer Summer Sanders; and the nearsimultaneous appearances of newly minted gold medalists on television talk shows, such as the entire women's gymnastics teams" appearance on the David Letterman Show and Amy Van Dyken's appearance on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.


NOTES
1
Greg Louganis's athletic achievement includes four gold medals in diving, two each at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics.
2
Even Greg Louganis' s story involved a comeback from an abusive relationship that was severed only by his lover's death. At this writing, Louganis's HIV condition has been stabilized.
3
Nineteen-year-old figure skater. Oksana Baiul gained almost as much media attention for wrecking her Mercedes Benz in an unfortunate drunk-driving accident near her home in northwestern Connecticut in 1997 as she did for winning the Olympic gold medal in figure skating at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer. Some sports commentators link her drinking problems to her too-rapid transition from orphaned adolescent in poverty-strickened Ukraine to wealthy young adult immersed in U.S. culture and capitalism.

-160-

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