Ok – so the Olympics are coming. Do you know how I know? The media circus has begun and Visa is exclusively advertising via Olympian endorsed commercials. I like the Olympics, and as such, I have bought into every single one of the media’s ploys to get me excited about them.
I got sucked into Ready to Fly, a documentary about the women of ski jumping, and their (really long) fight to get their event in the Olympics. I’m thrilled that the International Olympic Committee is taking strides towards gender equality in sports, and I think the Olympics are a wonderful form of cultural diplomacy, but man do they look like bad guys. Realistically, I don’t know enough about the IOC to form a judgment, but they came out of this documentary looking like Goliath for sure. My verdict- not the world’s best documentary, but a GREAT story. Cheers to the ladies of US Ski Jumping – kick ass in Sochi! Catch it on Netflix when you want to get psyched up for the gym – you’ll be so mad at “the man”, you’ll want to take up a sport that hasn’t been recognized by the IOC so you can fight the system.
Next up is ESPN’s The Price of Gold. As a lady (and straight up girly girl) who grew up in the 90s, this was the ESPN documentary to end all ESPN documentaries. Now, I’m a sucker for a sports doc, and Charlie’s gotten me hooked on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series, but this one iced the cake for me. First, it got my college basketball loving boyfriend to watch figure skating with me. Second, I got to see the Tonya/Nancy scandal unfold as an adult, which gave me a whole new perspective. Third, I learned that Women’s Figure Skating in the Olympics in 1994 was the third highest rating sporting event in history. The other top five events are ALL Superbowls. F-yea figure skating- 10 points for Kim Kardashian-ing yourself into fame long before the sex tape!
Finally, I was psyched to find out that crowdfunding has found its way to the Olympics! Using Crowdtilt, Indiegogo, and Dogecoin, fans funded the Jamaican Bobsled team’s trip to Sochi. As a fundraising professional who works in the arts, I’m 1) thrilled that crowdfunding accomplished something so amazing and 2) know that growing up with the classic sports film, Cool Runnings influenced more than one of those donors to give to this incredible team.
So now I’m super exited for the Olympics, but not just to see incredible athletes achieving their lifelong dreams. This year’s Olympics have provided a platform to discuss the movement towards gender equality and the power of crowdfunding. One step at a time, right?
Also, I really, really, realllllllly hope that ABC Family will run a Cool Runnings marathon in the days leading up to the Olympics. Anyone got a number at Disney Corp I can call to make that happen?