Alpine Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 2

Nothing glorifies physical bodies more than the Olympics, where we see a parade of exceptionally strong athletes with machine like precision and discipline who’ve trained their bodies to do extraordinary feats that most of us can simply dream of from our seat on the couch. It’s awe inspiring to see what humans can do with years of training and hard work, and their bodies are a testament to all that dedication. Apparently, they’re also fodder for an almost 1300-word New York Times article about how Olympians bodies are just too big for jeans–specifically, downhill skiers asses are too big for normal pants. This is going to be hilarious!

Of all the angles in all the world about downhill skiing, Sarah Lyall chose to focus on the fact that skiiers tend to have highly developed thigh and butt muscles in her embarassingly titled “Chasing Gold (and Jeans That Fit).” Seemingly unable to get past these huge asses while I assume singing Sir Mix-A-Lot to herself, Lyall found the balls to ask these athletes how they fit their enormous backsides into jeans. This is just as tone deaf, if not more so, than everyone flipping a shit over speed skater Olga Graf unzipping her uniform after seeing her remarkable time.

While most of the athletes Lyall interviewed spoke about the technical reasons for being built the way they are (they squat all day for God’s sake, and the increased weight helps with balance, control, and speed), Lyall inevitably brought it back to their inability to fit into pants.

Ripped jeans are apparently a common phenomenon for downhill skiers, much as it is routine for the Incredible Hulk to turn green and burst out of his clothes in fits of anger.

Either they fit around the thighs and hang off the waist, or they fit around the waist but cannot contain the skiers’ massive legs.

It’s really revolutionary that the New York Times figured out that it’s hard for most people to buy clothing, especially if their bodies vary even a tiny bit outside of very narrow parameters. If you’re interested in how these athletes make it all work, well, it ranges from finding one brand that fits, wearing sweats all the time, or finding a good pair of stretch jeans. Somebody call Mr. Pulitzer.

Lyall buried the most important element of this whole thing in a conversation between skiers Steven Nyman and Erik Fischer, after she made euphemism after euphemism about their thighs and butts.

“I got a big butt, but I’m not self-conscious,” Nyman said. He discussed the point once with his teammate Erik Fisher, who is known on the men’s tour for having especially imposing thighs, and they decided that it did not matter as long as their muscles did the job.

They’re athletes. Their bodies aren’t hilarious topics of a blushing piece about big butts, and certainly shouldn’t be approached as some huge alteration of the human form. They have a job to do and their bodies are their tools, or as Nyman reminded Lyall at the end of the interview, “Our bodies are our bodies.”

Photos: Getty Images