Thursday, September 9, 2004

Blood Sports

I am unable to ignore the fact that women's sporting bodies are prepubescent, while men's are not. Simply, champions are men and girls. Boys are not the highest achievers in any sport, yet girls are in many sports rather than women.

With the massive professionalisation of sport occuring in the last century, there has already been focus on the exploitation of the young, but there is little addressing the underlying dilemma where in some sports, the best competitors are the youngest. Diving, gymnastics, trampoline, swimming? and how many others? where female power to weight ratio is critical.

The closest we have come to addressing this is to codify minimum ages for olympic competition (for example) for some sports. The reality is that creates a very short sporting life for top athletes who are out of the sport post puberty (often delayed until 18 to 22 tops).

So where to? It's not enough to blame excessively competitive gyms or pushy parents or eastern european (now american) or chinese training regimes, bleat in the press and insert token minimum ages!

Competitive sports that privilege the prepubescent body are an issue in themselves, but they are sports I love and would like them to be available for women. How to?

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