Are America’s cold-weather Olympic stars stripping down in order to boost ratings or is it a sign of the times for the 21st Century games. Some may call the display of Julia Mancuso’s provocative GQ near-naked photo shoot coincidental, reported Fox News. But her bronze medal winning performance on Monday in the women's alpine skiing super combined event at the Sochi Olympics seemed timed perfect for the release of her Men’s magazine photo shoot.
Well it certainly is nothing like the winter Olympic female athlete photos images of the past where women were more bundled up than Russian bear hunters in Siberia. Now it appears that Mancuso is selling what the new Olympians are expected to look after leaving the ice, and the slopes. Imagination s everything and the public is invited to view. But is this great marketing or simply sexism?
Fox News reported that Mancuso seemed quite at ease at displaying “a very provocative spread involving long black underwear and the top of her backside on display, and nothing but a little pair of white briefs.” While little or nothing is left to the imagination, the February edition of GQ magazine does offer her take on her commitment to the Olympic Games.
Being sexy alone does not account for the stellar performances on the alpine slopes where Mancuso has won, “Olympic gold medal in the giant slalom at Turin in 2006) and two silvers in Vancouver in 2010,” according to GQ magazine.
The 29-year-old Olympic medalist actually accounts for her good fortune in the competitive Olympic Games on her lucky underwear. She stated, “I started to tell people I'd just worn my lucky underwear,” according to Fox News.
But Mancuso is hardly alone in the pursuit to present more visually stimulating poses. Many athletes are engaging in an array of poses and offering them up on their Instagram or Twitter feeds. Fox reported that, snowboarder Hannah Teter’s official Instagram account has a variety of sexy snaps of her bare midriff and showing off her derriere.
In fact, Lolo Jones who is winter m Olympics bobsled hopeful has displayed photos of her, “backside in a barely-there, suck-in-and-squeeze bobsled uniform,” reported Fox News.Not to be outdone by the American female athletes, the Russians have joined in and offered up very sexy images starring its nation’s female athletes on the official Russian team website.
So if the risqué photos are the new norm, then what does that say to the young teen and pre-teen athletes about what they have to look like when competing for an Olympic team slot in their sport?
The supporters of the new approach to selling the Olympic female figure as a gateway to showcasing the games feel that it is necessary. Some claim that sex sells and the “Winter sports lack the mainstream audience and familiar faces of summer games,” explained Jason Maloni, Senior Vice President of Levick Strategic Communications, to Fox News.
If objectification of the female form sells viewers on watching the Olympic winter games then one can only wonder what is next for the upcoming summer games in Brazil. Let the games begin.
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