Monday, July 30, 2012

A comment about Leisel Jones, Olympic athlete & media target

I hopped on the internet to check out the news coming from the London 2012 Olympics and I was delighted to read this follow-up story to the Leisel Jones "is she too fat to be in the Olympics" who-ha debate. I literally felt sick when I read that the Australian media began focusing on Leisel Jones body weight, including a poll to question whether or not if she is fit or not to swim.

For those of you who aren't watching the Olympics, Leisel Jones is a breaststroke specialist on the Australian Olympic Swim team. She has won eight Olympic medals and has set world records.

How demented are our expectations of body type that the media calls this high-performance Olympic athlete fat? In the end, it doesn't matter what her body looks like or how much she weighs, what matters is how fast she pull that body through the water and to the wall. Leisel's hard work, dedication, years of training, experience and let's not forget the fact that like everyone else (mostly everyone), she raced to earn her spot at the London 2012 Olympics by qualifying in a race.

Leisel is not fat and frankly, I don't even know why people call her chubby.This three-time Olympic gold medalist, is an elite athlete who is competing in her fourth Olympics. It really doesn't matter if she does or does not fit the media's ideal image of what an athlete should look like. The only thing that matters is how fast she can swim 100m.

Tonight Leisel Jones swam her 100m breastroke in 1:06.95 and a fifth place finish. One hundred meters in one minute and six seconds and fifth in the world. How many people in the world can do that?


  1. I always though that my extra weight added to my buoyancy in the water and you would think that helps with swimming. At least I think so.

  2. I sort of think the article you linked to about her being fat - the last paragraph with the quote about her being a different kind of athlete at the end of her career was a backhanded slap couched as a compliment. Proof is in the pudding - so to speak.

    That pisses me off more than I expected. Must be the caffeine. Easy there Munchberry, untie the knot in your grannie panties!

  3. That's terrible! How would you have the audacity to question an Olympic athlete in the first place? It's sort of like putting Michael Phelps on blast for "slacking." He qualified, so he MUST have been good enough! And today he won gold! I mean, really? Terrible...


  4. So what if someone is fat? If she's got the qualifying time, shut your pie hole! Body size is not an indicator of athletic ability!

  5. Last night while watching Allison Schmitt win gold in the 200M Free I screamed and cheered so loudly that my neighbor called to see if I was OK. *Note to self - close windows.

    1. Woops. Don't they know the Olympics are on geez!

  6. I was annoyed when I heard criticism of Leisel's body. She is amazing...what a wonky world we live in if she's considered "chunky". Have a great day Kara.


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