Olympic weightlifting Essay
Olympic weightlifting, 491 words essay example
Olympic weightlifting was historically a male-dominated sport that strongly aligned with masculine ideals. In the early 1980s, women began to make their way onto the national and international weightlifting platform, but were not allowed to compete in the Olympics until 2000. Since that point, women have been embraced and encouraged within in the sport. Weightlifters compete in two events the snatch, and the clean and jerk and the athletic standards for women in the exactly mirror those of the men. As our cultural use of technology advances and we become producers of content on tethered platforms, it is the natural progression for the individual athlete to attempt to locate themselves in this sphere for the sense of community, as well as to seek financial incentives. Female athletes must learn to negotiate their presence online through their self-authored Instagram accounts to market themselves and their sport in a realm that primarily calls for the "sex sells" cultural dynamic to be successful.
For a long time, Olympic weightlifting membership in the United States was minimal. The sport was largely unrecognized in this country and Team USA was practically a joke on the International scale. Recently, USA Weightlifting (USAW) has been on a steady incline, with the turning point identifiably beginning in 2012. Currently, nearly 70 percent of the approximately 25,000 USAW membership base have become members in the past four years. This growing popularity of the sport can be attributed two-fold to the rise of CrossFit which began to gain traction with corporate sponsorships in 2011, aligning with the rise of Instagram, which reached 100 million active users in April 2012. As Instagram grew, athletes began to turn their attention online in attempts to locate themselves in a growing athlete pool. This led to a direct correlation with increasing presence of athletic female bodies in the media.
The role of the athlete has traditionally been rooted only in their athleticism train hard, eat right, sleep enough, and perform on the day of competition. All of this took place behind closed doors. Training was the backstage for the athlete, and competition days were the times in which athletes were given the opportunity to showcase their hard work. While the latter still holds true, when social media opened the door of opportunity for self-representation online, the focus of the individual athlete gained another limb their online persona, which has become interwoven with their training. As a culture, we have extended our representation of identity and the self to become an online politic, running in tandem with our offline person. The role and responsibility of the individual athlete now includes putting their body and accomplishments online in a sphere that can allow for their expense or benefit. For the female individual athlete, this can become precarious due to societal sensitivities and the problematics around the "sex sells" cultural dynamic. Female athletes are more likely to achieve the desired online success if they must buy into this dynamic as a means to gain attention