Through Thick & Thin

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The 2012 Summer Olympics are over but I’m sure we have a few more weeks of the media focusing on athletes being stripped of their medals, allegations of cheating and trumped-up controversies.

The tackiest – or saddest, depending how you look at it – story to come out of the Olympics was the weigh-in on the weight of some female athletes. Despite their physical prowess and ability to do what most of us can’t, they were criticized for being “fat.” These athletes include:

American weight lifter Holley Mangold (157kg)

British heptathlon gold medal winner Jessica Ennis (accused of being fat by UK athletic official)

Aussie swimmer & 3-time gold medalist Liesel Jones (accused of not looking as fit as she did at the 2008 Olympics)

The entire Brazilian Women’s Soccer Team

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there such thing as a thin weight lifter? If you make the team or qualify for the Olympics, doesn’t that mean you’re in top physical condition? Why is anyone looking at weight at all?

A casualty in this obsession with thinness over health is Hollie Avil, a British triathlete who competed at the 2008 Olympics but quit high-levels sports just this past May for health reasons brought on by an eating disorder . . . which didn’t develop until after a coach told her she was too fat.

A fat triathlete? Seriously?

At least Holley Mangold gets it right, even if coaches and officials and other losers don’t:  “I’m not saying everyone is an athlete,” she said, “but I am saying an athlete can come in any size.”

Now that’s a gold-medal attitude!

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