Women athletes are getting even less visible (if that’s possible) on television, according to a new study.
In 2004, they got a big 5.6 percent of network news coverage and today get — wait for it — 1.6 percent.
This, in the era of awesome women like race car driver Danica Patrick, golfer Michelle Wie, tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, (recently retired) golfer Lorena Ochoa — and the wave of Korean women now dominating the LPGA.
Here’s an interesting post on what this might do to young girls who dream of sports careers. If you don’t see people like you (hello, men’s pro sports) playing at the highest levels of amateur, elite and professional sport, let alone talking about how they train, recover from surgery and injury, choose and work with their coaches, caddies and trainers — how will today’s eager young girls know it’s possible for them as well?
Anyone remember the media frenzy over soccer star Mia Hamm, who won Olympic gold in 1996 and 2004? Athletic little girls, and teens, need powerful, cool women role models much more than little boys — there’s no lack of guys on TV playing sports.
I burst into tears of pride and awe when the U.S. women took bronze, silver and gold (!!!) in saber fencing at the 2008 Olympics — because I was one of the first women (of about 300) to compete nationally in saber, back when it was considered too dangerous for women in the Olympics. That was only in the 1990s…Women who make sports history are often inspired by other women.
Ever heard of Isabelle Autissier? She’s my idol, a solo sailor in some of the world’s toughest races. She had to be rescued when her yacht went down mid-race.
I bet you Abby Sunderland, the 16-year-old sailor who’s been making headlines this week, knows exactly who she is.
Why are women athletes deemed so non-newsworthy?