Media Hype Over Athletes Without Medals Leaves Others Disgruntled
Now that the London Olympic Games are over, we have lots of wonderful moments to reflect on. But not everyone is happy about the way the media coverage. NBC came under fire for the ill timed Olympic News Spoilers and the Gabby Douglas “Gymnastics Monkey” incident. And NBC was not the only media outlet to catch the back lash.
All over web I found instances of the media being called out for their obvious focus on their favorites. Favorites that did not deliver as expected. Let’s just take a look at 2 such athletes. Jordyn Weiber and Lolo Jones have been the center of the media feeding frenzy for months, yet neither of them delivered individual medals. And even AFTER they failed to produce the ‘medal standard’ the medal continued to circle the wagons and host public pity parties. Meanwhile the athletes that DID produce (far better than expected I might add) were given barely equal or far less coverage. Enter Gabby Douglas and Dawn Harper!
Once Gabby solidified her presence with an individual Gold, the coverage on her picked up quite a bit. But prior to that moment, the Fab 5 could have been re-titled the Jordyn Story. The lack of coverage was obvious, even though Gabby had placed 1st in the Olympic trials. Meanwhile Jordyn was already a primary fixture for P&G and US media outlets everywhere. When Jordyn failed to qualify for the All-Around Finals, her tears of disappointment became the lead story for 2 days. Meanwhile Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas just kept marching forward with not one verbal or visible gripe about their accomplishments being brushed aside. Raisman, who was incidentally the team captain, took home 2 individual medals.
But Aly and Gabby’s behavior were in direct contrast to Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells of the Women’s US Track & Field Team. Dawn, who won the Gold in the 110-meter hurdles in Beijing was an emotional wreck in pre-Olympic interviews as she felt compelled to repeatedly defend her medal. The media made it clear that Lolo Jones had been the favorite in the race and Harper only won because Jones had fallen. But in London Dawn redemeed those doubts with a Silver medal while Jones again failed to make the podium. However another US teammate did make the stand, Kellie Wells earned the Bronze medal. Again the media focused on the disappointment of Jones and barely even acknowledged that Harper and Wells. This time around, it was all just too much for Dawn Harper and she spoke publicly about her hurt over being snubbed by the media (SEE VIDEO). Statements that were snidely supported by Kellie Wells when she stated:
“Well I think that on the podium tonight the three girls that earned their spot and they got their medals and they worked hard and did what they needed to do, prevailed, said Wells. “And that’s all that really needs to be said.”
There is no doubt that main stream media has its favorites based on many factors, among them beauty, personality and mass appeal. And there is even less doubt that the shine of the spotlight does not always glow in fair proportions. The question is how does one handle the perceived injustice? Here is MY answer.
In life almost NOTHING is fair. Many times we start from deficits where we have to be “3-times as good to get half as much credit” ~ Jai Stone. It all boils down to how the cookie crumbles. I would love to sell you the fairy tale poppy-cock that “you get what you earn”, however that is not always true. Sometimes you get what you aim for. If media coverage is what you want, then create a plan to get that and work at it. If the people like what they see, then endorsements will come calling. With the rise of social media, we have it within our own power to become over night sensations… so get like Nike and JUST DO IT! I believe one of the biggest misconceptions that I bought into as a kid is that things are suppose to be ‘fair’. I’m officially over 40 now and my mindset is vastly different. I focus more energy on creating my own personal destiny than I do comparing my rations to others. Because whatever I’m suppose to have, not even a freight train can stop it…fair or not!