Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pole vaulting fails, UK Swimmers, and a comparison of what gets you fired at ESPN: It's a Women In Sports Roundup.

This was a tough week to be a women in the world of sports.  Not as tough a week as it might have been if women were, say, playing a sport that is actually destroying their brains but which for some reason people are curiously uncurious about, but still: tough. 

First up, because it is always front-and-center in my mind (that's where dreams come from, I believe): Pole-vaulting.  We all know that I have dreamt of pole-vaulting, but it turns out that others have dreamt of it, too, and sometimes those others are not-unattractive (she's sports-hot) women, like Kati Davis. 

Kati attends the University of Colorado and would be your new national world universe champion in pole vaulting... except that the kind of modern world which allows there to be a national world universe pole vault competition also means that sometimes things will go wrong and, say, the poles that the vaulter intends to use for the competition don't arrive in the city where the vaulter, and the competition, are, until the day of the meet.

That's what happened to Kati, who after trying for four days to get a hold of someone at the airline (which, for the record, is Delta, an airline now revealed as being a rabid antipolevaultite), learned the poles had just gotten to the city where she was, so she dispatched her coaches to get them and then the coaches got stuck in traffic, leaving Kati to compete using someone else's poles, and she didn't place.

Don't cry for Kati, Argentina (or any other country.)  If you Google Kati Davis pole vaulter, you can go pages and pages without getting any results other than this story, which means that Kati Davis might just have been Kerriganed into fame -- Nancy Kerrigan being the only silver medalist anyone in the world can name, and right now there is a pole vaulter who everybody in the world knows, which is not a bad thing if you look at it the right way.  Nancy Kerrigan's worth $8,000,000, after all, and can you name the person who won the gold that year? (It was 1994, and it was estimated that she made about $3,000,000 a year after winning the gold.)

Anyway, Kati Davis, things could be worse: People could be making you feel bad about yourself on Twitter, like what happened to Rebecca Adlington, an Olympic athlete with poor self-esteem, and, having typed that, I can safely say that there is no combination of words in the English language which would sound sillier, other than, maybe "Former presidential candidate Michelle Bachman renounces Swiss citizenship." 

Adlington, shown here attempting to prove that someone can, in fact, fly using nothing but a Union Jack and misplaced sympathy,  announced this week that she's quitting Twitter until the Olympics are over because of mean comments people have made.

She said that, two days ago, but a check on her Twitter account shows that she's still tweeting as of 2 hours ago (I'm typing this on Sunday morning, June 3, at 8:30 CDST.  England's what, six hours ahead of us, so it's about 2 or 3 there in the afternoon, and Becks is no doubt just eating some lunch and tweeting things like

no finished now! Went 4.09 this morning. Ho went 63.5 on 100back. 2.14 in 200heat. 30.5 in50heat. Got finals tonight.

So I kind of think what Rebecca Adlington meant by "I'm quitting Twitter until after the Olympics because of Mean Girls UK" was actually "Pay attention to me."  

In her defense, people are being really mean:  This is one of the things that was tweeted to her after her announcement that she wasn't reading Twitter until after the Games:

How lovely is this person... ": you shark fin nosed derkhead, you belong in that pool you fucking whale."
I had a perfect example of what has been said in the papers this week tweeted to me this morning. I apologise for the swearing when I RT it!


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