How do you psych yourself before an amazing feat of physical strength? Might it possibly involve dancing to Beyoncé until you get into the type of headspace where you’re the strongest version of yourself, and ready to take on the world? If so, you have that in common with US luger Kate Hansen, whose Beyoncé-inspired warm up has won the hearts of anyone with a pulse. The exception is one curmudgeonly idiotic NBC commentator, who just wants the world to get off his lawn.
While America fell in love with Hansen during a video of her warm up routine, commentator and former Olympic luger Duncan Kennedy said “I would like to see something more sport-specific out of her. What you see out of those top runners, the really heavy hitters, is they’re working those start muscles.” Alright, Duncan. If Duncan Kennedy could even make it through an entire Beyoncé song dancing with the intensity of Hansen, he’d understand that there’s more than one way to work your muscles, and dancing is more than adequate. How are those muscles feeling, sitting up there in your press box doing nothing?
There’s a case to be made that this was a completely gendered comment, and it was Duncan’s code for “she’s being too girly.” There’s all kinds of ways to subtly imply that being female makes you less than, and one way that we see over and over is the idea that women can’t be serious about their professions in the way men can. Insinuating that the real athletes wouldn’t deign to warm up like Hansen and that she should buckle down and be more serious about the whole thing seems like a poorly cloaked dig at her being a female athlete (ladies love dancing and being frivolous, am I right?). You can’t seriously say any Olympian isn’t living every aspect of her life in service of her sport, and Kennedy looks like a real idiot here. Hansen, on the other hand, looks fantastic.
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