Given the thriving sports vibe here in So Cal, I took a look at the LA Times 24 page guide to the Tokyo Olympics which was included in the Sunday paper. First, I checked the TV viewing guide and damn if there wasn’t sailing mentioned! Alright, now we’re off to a good start. Time to rip through this and get to the sailing feature, maybe more than one!
The first feature article was about surfing being in the Olympics (they even used the word totally in the headline. So hip). Then they wrote about skateboarding, also new to the Olympics. I learned that It’s not a sport, bro. It’s a lifestyle.
A double spread about sport climbing, which I had no idea was a sport, let alone one that is Olympics-worthy. But okay.
A side column offered a tip of the hat to additional new sports like softball, baseball and karate. The main article was of course dedicated to Simone Biles, and that was followed up with a splashy (get it?) five-page feature on swimmer Katie Ledecky, followed by an article on fencing, featuring a despondent looking US fencer.
There was a moment (a half-page moment, actually) on the reality of the Pandemic and the Olympics, plus a giant feature on the US Women’s soccer coach. A man, it must be said. What, no qualified women coaches to coach…a women’s team?
By the time I got to page 20, I was wondering if the TV listing was wrong – was there even a thing called sailing, because not a single word had been mentioned so far. Then, in the final four-page section about the So Cal Olympic connections and there it was: sailors Charlie Buckingham and Riley Gibbs each got short bios. Nothing said about new classes, new sailors, etc.
All a bit um, underwhelming. And of the 41 pictures devoted to the athletes, not a single one showed sailing.
That society largely doesn’t give a fuck about sailing is not exactly a news bulletin. Hell, apparently not even So Cal cares. – ed.
Title inspiration thanks to Faith No More.