Back in 2006, Julia Mancuso in all of her 21 years, showed up at the Torino Olympic Games sporting a tiara. She even raced in that tiara. It was her way of adding fun to the disturbing amount of pressure that came with being an Olympic athlete. No harm, right? Well, no. Many made fun of her. Even Picabo Street felt it was necessary to lash out at the poor princess.
Now I've seen Picabo in person. That girl wears enough rhinestones and razzle-dazzle to shame Elvis - especially when she's skiing. So why would a little tiara cause Picabo Street to fret so? Prolly because Julia Mancuso was about to dethrone Picabo as the reigning U.S. Olympic Giant Slalom champion.
In honor of Julia Mancuso's tiara-studded, Giant Slalom, Gold-Medaled victory, the 2006 St George Marathon became the year of the Mancuso, wherein we women-folk ran 26.2 in a tiara. Note, however, that we're equal opportunity women-folk and offered tiaras to the dudes, but they respectfully declined. Here's the proof:
Fast forward four years to Vancouver 2010. Julia Mancuso is the reigning Olympic Giant Slalom champion. Lindsey Vonn is the current world champion and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Superstar. As usual, the TV people (also known as NBC) picked their beloved. And it was Lindsey. Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey! Enough already with Lindsey!
(Am I alone in my yearn and burn for some other network to finally take control of the Olympics?)
Anyway, as Lindsey is crashing here and there, Julia is winning medals. Who do you think should get the spotlight and media attention? Why, Julia of course! But you all know that Lindsey still got a truck-load of media attention.
The kicker to Lindsey's media whoredom, was the Giant Slalom. Lindsey crashes. And because Lindsey is the Golden Child, they yellow-flag Julia Mancuso so as to stop her run mid-way. Julia is forced to ski down, ride a snowmobile up and restart. Her second (first) run was a disaster and the reigning Olympic Gold Medal is out of the running for a medal. The kicker to this already kicking Giant Slalom situation is Lindsey's post-crash interview. Lindsey expressed how badly she feels for messing up Julia's run -- all while grinning from ear to shining ear. Lindsey's sentiments weren't all that convincing.
It's no secret that Julia and Lindsey don't jive. They don't hang and they certainly aren't copacetic with each other. Which brings me to the point of this dumb post:
Men are better than women at competing with their friends. Or so it seems.
When men who are friends race or compete directly with each another, it seems they can heckle with "I'm gonna kick your ass," or "you're going down" or "your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elder berries." Stuff like that. Men friends can jab each other fiercely with derogatory names, compete ferociously, and still remain friends.
Girls can't do that. Or so it seems.
At the beginning of a race, a girl (who is a friend) will size the other up and down, look straight into her dear comrades eyes and tell her just how awesome she is. She'll gush all sorts of optimistic encouragement -- hoping the whole time that the girl friend will fall flat on her face. Not only does the girl hope her friend will perform worse than she herself will perform, that girl hopes the friend will crash and burn. Phony, right? Phony is right!
Why is it that girls (or women), cannot openly express how badly they want to run their best friend into the ground? How come? If I were to march up to one of my girly-girl running buddies and say, "I'm gonna kick your ass," do you have any idea what kind of drama that would create? I would be digging myself out of a hole for at least a month. And I'll be honest and say that I wouldn't exactly welcome the gesture either.
So why are we women like that? Is it because doing our best is not enough? Is it because women are insecure? Must we be better than another to feel good about ourselves? Is it all Cinderella's fault?
Yeah. Let's blame Cinderella. That and her petite little pumpkin riding feet.
I run with people and many are girls (women). We are somewhat competitive. We all have a similar goal of outdoing our personal bests. I have had many friends (who are girls) who honestly support and encourage. But I've had a few doozy dodos that have been the exact opposite of support and encourage. And it ain't fun. It's as if the girl's entire self worth depends on whether she can beat me.
So why can the dudes do it and the girls cannot? Seriously, I want to know (and will try to remain objective even if you say, "Rabid. It's just you.")