Noelle Pikus-Pace won the Olympic
Gold Silver Medal in a sport called Skeleton. And all of America knows way too much about her personal life. This time, it isn’t an intrusive media. It’s the athlete herself, and the media has latched-on for the ride. I’m not sure how I feel about about that.
Certainly, her Olympic accomplishment is stellar. And you can’t doubt that all her effusive gushing about her husband and little son and little daughter and sister and big Utah Mormon family is genuinely at the center of who she is. But why do we know all about that, and her miscarriage, and how she can’t go anywhere without the whole brood?
Sure, the animated gushing and perpetual smiling and all that blowing kisses into the camera is real. But it feels like somebody slipped one of those supermarket checkstand women’s magazines into the sports section.
Is it charming because it’s genuine, or is it as inextricably gooey sweet and sticky as flypaper?
Did she just invent the new media template, what it takes to get average American women interested in sports? Are we going to be subjected to baseball players carrying matching ensemble diaper bags and dangling drooling toddlers, and to NFL players pushing strollers to post-game interviews?
Or maybe the entertainment moguls are falling all over each other to sign Pikus-Pace to a reality show contract. I can see it now — story premise: will she ever stop smiling while changing Pampers after winning Olympic Gold? Tune in and find out if there’s room for her skeleton sled in the hall closet with the twovyear’s supply of survival food.
Should I feel bad for thinking that? She seems so — nice. Just too — determined to prove she wants to lose herself in the idea of being subservient to generically raising a generic big family in generic Deseret suburbia… after being one of the fastest and best in the world at something exhilarating, inspiring, exciting, difficult, and dangerous.
Pass the sippy cup.