Olympics broadcasters try to curb sexual images of female athletes


Madelein Meppelink, left, of the Netherlands, takes a shot as Liliana Fernandez Steiner, second from left, of Spain, defends throughout a girls’s seaside volleyball match on the 2020 Summer time Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Picture/Felipe Dana)

TOKYO (AP) — At an Olympics aiming to set the very best degree of tv requirements, the pinnacle of broadcasting on the Tokyo Video games is attempting to banish overly sexualized photos of feminine athletes.

“Sport attraction, not intercourse attraction” is one mantra Olympic officers push in an effort to succeed in gender fairness on the sector of play and on display.

“You’ll not see in our protection some issues that we have now been seeing up to now, with particulars and close-up on components of the physique,” Olympic Broadcasting Companies chief govt Yiannis Exarchos mentioned Monday.

That may be tough with state-of-the-art know-how filming sports activities — equivalent to seaside volleyball, gymnastics, swimming and observe — the place feminine athletes’ uniforms could be scant and skimpy.

Gymnasts from Germany sent a message in opposition to uniforms they consider exploit their sexuality by competing in Tokyo carrying unitards that lined their legs to the ankle.

A stronger protest was made this month away from the Olympics. At a European seaside handball occasion, Norway’s girls refused to play in bikini bottoms and as a substitute needed to put on skin-tight shorts. They had been fined for breaking clothes guidelines.

The Worldwide Olympic Committee doesn’t govern these sorts of guidelines for particular person sports activities, but it surely does run OBS and controls the published output from Tokyo proven to the world.

“What we will do is to guarantee that our protection doesn’t spotlight or function in any specific method what persons are carrying,” Exarchos mentioned.

To attain this, the IOC up to date “Portrayal Guidelines” to steer all Olympic sports activities and their rights holders towards “gender-equal and truthful” broadcasts of their occasions. Recommendation consists of “don’t focus unnecessarily on seems to be, clothes or intimate physique components” and reframing or deleting a “wardrobe malfunction … to respect the integrity of the athlete.”

The Olympic targets transcend ending sexualized photos, Exarchos mentioned.

Extra girls’s and blended gender occasions are on the Olympic program and are scheduled extra prominently. Ladies’s finals are held after males’s finals in volleyball and crew handball.

“We in media haven’t but achieved all that we will do,” mentioned Exarchos, whereas claiming progress over the previous 15 years. “That is one thing that we have to be frank and open (about) amongst ourselves.”

It’s a theme for the Tokyo Olympics, whose adviser on gender equality was vital of Japanese media whereas sharing the stage Monday with the pinnacle of Olympic broadcasting.

“It’s actually biased in terms of gender,” mentioned Naoko Imoto, who swam for Japan on the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and now works for UNICEF, the United Nations youngsters’s rights company.

“Most of the channels have a look at feminine athletes (as) ladies or wives or moms and not likely as pure athletes,” she mentioned. “Most of it additionally actually provides consideration to the seems to be saying … they’re lovely or attractive.”

The Tokyo Olympics have been positioned as an opportunity to drive change in Japanese society and embrace range. Imoto mentioned she hoped Japanese media and sports activities officers would speak after the Video games “concerning the requirements of portrayal.”

“They’re highly effective and they’re additionally lovely, however they aren’t simply girls,” Imoto mentioned, “they’re athletes.” | Olympics broadcasters attempt to curb sexual photos of feminine athletes


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