In spite of the best efforts of the likes of O’Reilly and “Spicey,” who continue to disrespect the women who threaten their fragile male egos, women and women in sports got a huge win this week. This morning, less than two weeks after the women of team USA Hockey announced that they would boycott the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships if they didn’t reach a fair compensation deal with USA Hockey officials, USA Hockey announced that an agreement had been reached that would get the women on the ice in time for the Championships.
Sigh. Hope Solo. Instead of talking about what a great goalie and representative of women’s sports she is, we’ve spent the majority of August talking about what a poor sport she is. She’s seriously been a public relations nightmare and I can only imagine that her management team is in full-on crisis management mode right now. Lately, she’s let her lack of sportsmanship, thoughtfulness and maturity be on display for the world to see. And watching it all play out from the comfort of my home has been a bit like driving past a bad car wreck…You don’t want to see it, but you just can’t look away. While taking in her epic meltdown, I’ve frequently put myself, a non-PR expert, in her PR team’s shoes. What would I tell Hope? How would I have tried to change things? Here’s some of what I’ve come up with:
I LOVE the Olympics. I’m really not even exaggerating when I say that. I haven’t missed the opportunity to watch any of them since the time I had the slightest bit of control over what I watch. And for an unreasonably long time, I just KNEW I was going to one day compete in them myself; definitely as a gymnast and then for sure as a sprinter. Even when my hopes of being a world class athlete were replaced with more realistic goals for this 5’4.5″ frame of mine, my love for the games and support of the athletes remained. There is something thoroughly inspiring and infectious about watching people dedicate their lives to a specific craft and then become the universe’s greatest performer of their craft. For all the problems my country has, it’s usually an occasion for me to cheer on the red, white and blue proudly. But this year, I find myself in a peculiar position; my heart isn’t 100% into the Olympics.