Monday, August 11, 2008

Beach Volleyball? Really?

Here's a sport I truly don't understand. Well, no, I understand it. But I don't understand the way it's gone about.

The sport itself is pretty exciting, in truth. Two person volleyball + sand = lots of dives, amazing saves, huge kills, plus the added difficulty of being on essentially a moving floor.

What I don't understand is the uniforms. Honestly, how legitimate is a sport when the required uniforms for the athletes are smaller than those of the cheerleaders (yes... this is an Olympic sport with cheerleaders...)?

Something tells me it's so that we can get pictures like this, this and this. Which is really, really sad. These are athletes who have worked bloody hard to establish themselves into a very difficult sport, and the IOC (and the FIVB) are flaunting them like common sex objects. When you look up "Olympics beach volleyball" on Google, most of the pictures you'll find are verging on soft-core pornography. The idea seems to be "come for the tits and ass, stay for the sports on show".

The whole thing smacks of Sepp Blatter's 'brilliant' idea to increase ladies' football's popularity.

I'm no feminist, in the same way that I'm not really an activist in any stretch of the imagination (minus the drinking and driving thing, but that's another story for another day). That said, I believe basic respect and courtesy lead the way to go. Now, truth be told I have absolutely no idea whether the players themselves want to wear bikinis or not while competing - but the entire concept seems to be a cheap ploy to increase the fan-base of the sport.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, I could probably come up with something wittier or more biting to say, but the whole thing really irritates me. In my opinion, women jumping around in bikinis takes a lot away from what is a really impressive, entertaining and highly-skilled sport.


Mike Woods said...

What else would they wear on a beach? Sweaters?
They (and the men) wear those uniforms to avoid getting sand stuck everywhere and for maximum mobility. I don't think it's anything more than that.

Amrit Ahluwalia said...

This is what the men wear. What's wrong with having the women in something like that too?

Otherwise, should the men be in next-to-nothing too *shudder*.

Phil said...

Men are degraded by having to wear Speedo swimsuits for the swimming events!

Amrit Ahluwalia said...

If the bikinis were performance enhancing in beach volleyball as speedos are in swimming events, I'd have no problem with them. But they don't seem to serve any useful purpose beyond head-turning.

If the guys play beach volleyball in shorts and sleeveless tees, why don't the girls?