February 10, 2006
I love the Olympics. No, I'm not generally a sports fan, but I absolutely love the Olympics. It's 5:03 PM Pacific Time, and I'm jealous that those of you on the East Coast are settling in to watch the opening ceremonies.
Why do I love the Olympics? Perhaps it's my patriotic streak, but more likely it's my idealism. Forget the rumors of performance-enhancing drugs, forget the figure skating controversies, and forget the intrasport squabbling. Instead, think about the Olympic ideal - countries setting aside their differences and coming together to compete honestly and celebrate the unity of humanity and sport.
Although I love the Olympics, I also dream of an Olympics that's inclusive - one where plus-size women and big men could use their size to their advantage and compete. After all, very tall people have more than one Olympic sport - basketball and volleyball come to mind - in which they can excel. Short, slight people have gymnastics and people with other body types can choose from a variety of sporting endeavors.
There have been large men and women in the Olympics - there was weightlifter Cheryl Haworth in the 2000 Sydney Games, and Rulon Gardner, who retired from wrestling in 2004. We even have a plus size Olympian featured on the BBW site - Helena Blach Lavrsen, who won a silver medal in curling in the 1998 Games.
Still, what about the sports that would draw on our inherent talents? Think to the Summer Games, and to water polo. Let's face it - big women are unsurpassed when it comes to floating. I always shake my head in wonder when I see those thin athletes churning the water with their legs, trying to stay afloat. Put plus size women in the water polo competition, and our energy could be used for defense and offense, rather than for treading water.
Of course, I'm not withdrawing my support of these Winter Games because they're not inclusive. But that doesn't mean I can't have my own Olympic dreams.
Posted by conradb212 at February 10, 2006 04:19 PM