It’s hard to miss coverage of the Sochi Olympics–not only does it dominate prime time, but live coverage is available almost all day. But what you might have missed is the Russian official lingerie photo shoot. A Russian website is displaying Russian women athletes in sexy lingerie–a far cry from the clothing they wear to compete. The website shows female athletes like hockey player Svetlana Kolmykova, freestyle skier Maria Komissarova, speed skater Tatiana Borodulina and several more wearing lingerie in seductive poses. This isn’t some underground photo spread, either–it’s officially sanctioned by the government and meant as good PR for the Russian team.
This isn’t the first time athletes–both men and women–have posed scantily clad. Lindsey Vonn did it for the Vancouver games and several English women athletes did the same for the London games. In fact, it’s actually pretty common as you can see from this article in Bleacher Report.
There are probably lots of reasons for an athlete to do this kind of photo shoot; often they’re promoting an event or doing it for charity. It certainly helps raise their own visibility. Politics of it aside, we usually only see these women suited up for their sport–hockey players in pads and masks, skiers in goggles and helmets, snowboarders padded from head to toe. This is quite a different view of women who are in terrific shape and at the peak of their game.
While I love and appreciate lingerie more than most, I also respect and admire these women for their talent, skill and athleticism. And, by the way, you can be sure that the underwear they wear to compete is a lot more like this Shock Absorber sports bra than like the lacy confections you see in the Russian photo spread.
There’s been some controversy about this photo shoot–what do you think? Is it demeaning for athletes to pose as sex objects? Does it do any harm? Or is it just another means to promote themselves and their sports?
Top Image: Maria Komissarova-Freestyle Skiing. Photo courtesy TotalProSports.com