Should the Olympic Games be gender equal?

The Olympics still aren't gender-equal. Image by Peter Griffin.

When people think of the Olympics, most people just think of the greatest athletes coming to compete in the biggest compotation stage in the world. Most don’t wonder if the games are “Gender Equal” all we want is to watch the best of the best of the countries of the World to, compete for the ultimate prize and represent their country.

Even allowing females to compete in the games for every country on earth has just came to be, according to the article, “all 204 competing nations have sent male and female athletes to the Games for the first time, with Saudi Arabia the last to do so.” (Jowell)  That’s amazing to think since there are some sports that are only for mean and only for women. So with Saudi Arabia just letting woman to compete that means that the country was treating there citizens with equal rights. I know that’s what makes America special however; every other country has sent competitors to the games for years up to this point.

Although the Olympics have gender specific events, however it all depends on the countries; essentially it’s up to the country to which competitors they send to compete in the Olympic Games. It also depends on the size of the country that the athlete lives in, because for example countries such as; “Bhutan, British Virgin Islands, and Timor-Leste all these countries only had 2 athletes in the games. Whereas the host Great Britain had 541 athletes, Italy had 285 and the United States had 530 athletes competing in the games.”2 So even though countries do their best at being an equal opportunity of sending athletes, as you can see depending on the country there just might not be that many opportunities to send both sexes.

There is also the fact that most woman sports don’t get the same support as the men’s sports. Especially if the sport is gender specific and not well known. According to Olympics minister Tessa Jowell Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation reported that, “women’s sport only receives 0.5% of corporate sponsorship and 5% of total media coverage. Last year, the absence of any women from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist provoked a nationwide debate.” (Jowell)   It’s crazy to think that only 0.5% or corporate sponsorship covered Women’s sports, also that the total of media coverage was only 5%. The reason is that, corporations that had media coverage spent insane amounts of money to get advertisement in the Olympics. According to fooducate, “McDonald’s and Coca Cola each spent $100M to become sponsors of the Olympics”. (Weingartern) That’s $200,000,000 from just two corporations, granted they are the two biggest corporations but out of that two hundred million dollars the women’s sports only receives %0.5 of that or about $1,000,000. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the money available for sponsorship. So maybe that is a reason that the Olympics are still not equal, since everything in the world is run from money, not having an equal amount won’t give those athletes and countries an equal opportunity to send everyone they have to the games; and isn’t that what the Olympics are all about?

SO in conclusion I think the way to make the Olympics and other world competitions “gender equal” we need to start by giving everyone able to compete in the Olympics, the financial opportunity to do so. Maybe by doing this we can have an Olympics that is free of gender inequality. Also the countries need to allow those who are able to compete, be able to and not stop them or discriminate against them, just because of their sex. I know this could be challenge in some of those countries such as Saudi Arabia or other countries that don’t look upon both sexes as equals.

Griffin, Peter. “The Olympics: Still Sexist after All These Years.” Forbes India Magazine. Forbs India, 10 Aug. 2012. Web. 02 Oct. 2012.

Jowell, Tessa. “Rio Olympics should be gender equal, says Jowell.” Olympics 2012. The Guardian, 10 08 2012. Web. Web. 22 Sept 2012. <;.

Weingartern, Hemi. “The Real Reason McDonald’s and Coke are sponsoring the Olympics.” The Real Reason McDonald’s and Coke are sponsoring the Olympics. Fooducate, 28 07 2012. Web. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <;.


About clunymac

I am a ODU Criminal Justice student, I love working out, Scuba Diving and traveling when i get the chance. I am going to be a Police Officer when i graduate from school.
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7 Responses to Should the Olympic Games be gender equal?

  1. Pingback: Should the Olympic Games be gender equal? « clunymac

  2. brynn711 says:

    I am a huge fan of the Olympics, however I like the fact that genders are separated for the simple fact that US women totally outshined the men this year! US ladies soccer got the gold metal! I watched the Olympics religiously and never even saw the men play. Ladies gymnastics got the team gold and individual gold. However, the men totally failed. Of course I support the US in all sports whether men or women, but it is nice to see the women take home way more metals then the guys. At the same time, the men and women are still able to compete against one another. I would not want to see the Olympics gender equal, especially since our country is one of the hardest to even make it past the Olympic trials

    • clunymac says:

      LOL I see what you mean, but have the option I think would give an illusion that games are more equal. Now has a former Male Gymnast and ranked 1st in all around in the state of Florida for 7yrs in a row, I agree that the males messed up however with a sport like gymnastics speaking from personal experience you can have the best routines in the gym and at practice and then go to compete and just blow it. But what about a very small country, would you think it would be fair for them to be able to send the best male and female of the same sport giving that female athlete the opportunity to represent her country? Even if just in Olympic trials, and if she makes it through the trials to let her compete

    • clunymac says:

      This is true I agree the men really messed up. However speaking from experience I was Ranked #1 in the State of Florida in Men’s Gymnastics for 7yrs. and I know you can have the best workout in practice and really drop the ball in competition. Now that’s not an excuse since these are Olympic Athletes. But everyone has a bad day, and sadly that day was the Men’s “bad day”. But when you talk about countries. The US is one of a kind with just the mass amount of athletes we sent to the Games. What about the countries that have a very small population and compete in uncommon sports. Why not have them be able to send both sexes to compete in there sport and represent the country? But when you say compete against on another its not on the same stage at the same time. What if they could compete at the same time such as in soccer or other sports that have a more “level” playing field? I just think if you make it past the Olympic trials you should be able to compete even if there is not a team for that male or female they should join there countries team if that’s there only option.

  3. mvensland says:

    I see what you mean on this. It is not really fair that one gender or the other gets more or less funding. I think that it’s great that there are games that seperate men and women for obvious reasons. Some events would be dominated by males due to physical structure, while at the same time, women would dominate sports. Back to the funding deal, if funds are going to be divided, maybe they should be based on the popularity of event per event. Some events may recieve more funding becuase more people will watch it, but this can go for both male and female events. The gender shouldn’t be what determines where funds go.

    • clunymac says:

      I agree the funds should be dependent on the popularity, because if it’s a sport that no one is going to watch so why dump a lot of money into that sport. Also with the less popular sports there will be less people that watch them anyway. So your right with those sports gender shouldn’t matter when determining funding.

    • clunymac says:

      I agree that, if they divided the funds it should be based on the events popularity. You cant give the same funding across the board, however the less popular sports still deserve a fair slice of the pie when they divide the funds up. I also agree that if the event gets more funding it, should be based on how many people watch the sport. If its some crazy sport that no one ever watches they should not get a “raise” in funding, however they still should get something. I also believe that this can be for both male and female events.

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