Remember when we were all worried about the end of 2012 and the Mayan end of days prophecy? Well here we are at the end of 2013 and still kicking! So let’s take a look back at a few notable happenings in sports and health, in no particular order:
Oscar Pistorius Murders Reeva Steenkamp: From champ to chump. The double-amputee inspirational Olympic runner shot and killed his girlfriend in the middle of the night. Pistorius has been indicted and his trial will begin in March 2014. He is also facing two additional gun-related charges, one for shooting a 9mm (allegedly the Steenkamp murder weapon) out of the sunroof of a car while driving, and another for having ‘accidentally’ fired his friend’s gun under the table of a Johannesburg restaurant. *face palm*
Marion Bartoli Wins Wimbledon! She played 47 Grand Slams before winning Wimbledon. This was the longest wait in women’s tennis for a “maiden Grand Slam”. That was the good news. The bad news was that BBC Radio 5’s John Inverdale referred to Bartoli as not “a looker” on the radio after her win and used this as an explanation for her scrappy play. Bartoli retired shortly after Wimbledon.
Boob shaped Kettlebells:
306 Creative Communication, a Kiev-based agency, designed breast-shaped kettlebells explaining that these are “Sports equipment for real men, who think about women all the time even when the iron is held in the hands.” No further comments.
Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy: Angelina Jolie told the world (via a New York Times op-ed) that she had undergone a preventative double mastectomy in hopes of raising awareness about genetic testing and breast cancer. A few months later she has revealed that her story had not raised as much awareness as she had hoped and studies have found that people are now more confused about cancer genes than ever.
The Biggest Loser Introduced Children: Season 14 of The Biggest Loser saw the introduction of child ambassadors. The three children were supposed to inspire Americans to get healthy and address the issue of “childhood obesity”. The child ambassadors were not allowed to be voted off the show and did not live on the ranch with the regular contestants. I’m not sure how ‘effective’ the addition of children were but the season 15 premiere received the lowest premiere ratings in the show’s history. Does this mean people are finally tired of The Biggest Loser?
Lululemon Sells Us Sex and Calls It Health: Lululemon founder and (former) CEO, Chip Wilson, had a rough 2013. First, there was the debacle with the sheer pants that revealed all too much and then he basically told the world that his pants are only appropriate for women’s with thigh gaps. Wilson then issued the saddest public apology ever. I think Stephen Colbert handled this cluster***k best by naming Wilson the Alpha Dog of the week:
Thank you Chip Wilson. For lifting your leg to pee on your customers and then blaming them for being wet, you sir are my Alpha Dog of the Week…It was a perfectly good apology, but some women’s bodies just don’t work for it. If Chip’s ‘I’m sorry’ wasn’t good enough, you probably couldn’t hear him properly over the loud rubbing of your fat thighs.
Ray Emery is a Disgrace (again): During a 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, goaltender Ray Emery (who at one point had an image of Mike Tyson painted on his goalie mask) joined a line fight by skating the length of the ice, grabbing an unwilling Braden Holtby, and pounding his face in a few times. Holtby did not want to fight but Emery courteously told him to “protect himself”. Emery received 29 penalty minutes for his altercation. The ridiculous part was that Emery received no supplemental discipline from the NHL because “there’s nothing in the rule book the NHL can use as precedent.” (Does criminal assault count as precedent?) The silver lining from this incident is that it forced the League to consider adding a rule that would give goalies a “10-game suspension for leaving his area and instigating a fight.”
27 NFL Players Arrested Since Superbowl: DUIs, public intoxication, street racing, child abuse, soliciting a prostitute, and murder are some of the charges that were laid against active players this year. But perhaps what is more interesting is that USA Today reported, “In a league in which 66% of the players are black and 31% are white, black players were arrested nearly 10 times as often as white players, accounting for 88% of those NFL-traffic-stop arrests.” Will the NFL continue to chalk up these incidents as ‘character issues’?
Women Excluded from Tour de France: Marianne Vos and Emma Pooley campaigned for the inclusion of a 2014 women’s race and gathered over 95,000 signatures in support of their cause. Unfortunately, the Tour prefers to remain in the stone ages and replied, ‘Merci! Mais, non, merci.’
Photo from The Huffington Post.
Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon: Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to be the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon. Now the Aussies need a win in Melbourne!
Attempted Turban Ban in Quebec: The Quebec Soccer Federation attempted to ban turbans from the soccer field citing a FIFA safety rule. The Federation Director argued that those who didn’t want to abide by their rules could play at home . Luckily, public outcry forced the Federation to change their tune.
Tiger #1 Again: Tiger Woods, after dropping to a career low ranking of #58 in 2011, clawed his way back to the #1 ranking in March this year. Oh, and then Nike implied that implied that winning is far more important than character by releasing this controversial ad:
Photo from PGA.com
Title IX Documentary Series: ESPN created a new series titled, “Nine for IX”, which included the instalments: “Venus VS” about Venus Williams, “Let Them Wear Towels” about female reporters working in male locker rooms, “No Limits” detailing the death of free-diver Audrey Mestre, and “Branded” which discussed the marketing of female athletes.
Danica Patrick Finishes 8th in Daytona 500: Not only did she grab a pole spot, she completed this year’s Daytona 500 with the highest finish for a woman in racing history. Go Danica Go!
Can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!
P.S. Happy New Year’s to everyone who reads The Rabbit Hole and who made the following posts the top 3 of the year:
1.) Strong is the new skinny? Enough is enough
2.) Why women’s gym hours aren’t sexist
3.) We make exercise scary: A failure of the physical education system