Meet Stephanie Rice, the Australian swimmer who will be fishing for gold this summer in Beijing. And her chances are good, as she recently set new world records at the Australian Olympic trials.
But it’s not all work for Steph. She likes to have a good time away from the pool - and like most young gals, wants to share her fun with the world. So, Ric put up a collection of party photos on her Facebook site, and set them up for public viewing.
However, her generous nature has gotten Rice into hot water with her country’s governing swimming body.
Swimming Australia scolded Stephanie into taking down the photos from the networking site. And it wasn’t just Rice raked over the coals, as other Aussie athletes have been told to remove possible problematic pics form their accounts.
The reason for the ban was the accompanying media frenzy Down Under right after Rice put her pics up. As the BRISBANE COURIER-MAIL noted:
Sexy photographs of the 19-year-old glamour girl of the pool in party mode were splashed across newspaper pages around the nation. They attracted even more attention online, generating millions of hits on media websites.
Including the COURIER MAIL.
The aquatic bureaucrats are obviously worried about the image of the athletes under their supervision. But Prof. David Rowe of the University of Western Sydney explains that even when it comes to Olympians, girls will be girls:
“They’re all about them having a good time and often being deliberately outrageous. It’s exhibitionistic behaviour for one’s peers using the new technology, but not realising that can become global exhibitionism, whether you like it or not.”
And Associate Prof. Karen Brooks of Southern Cross University says the young women aren’t to blame for the overexposure, but the media and their newspaper purchasers and website visitors:
“It’s like we’re trying to construct our own Britney (Spears) out of Stephanie and there’s just no comparison – for a start, she’s got knickers on.”
Besides, Stephanie appears to enjoy the attention. For example, she’ll be competing in a swimming race against a local radio DJ as part of a publicity stunt. And Rice is already given tantalizing reasons to tune in, as she’s “expected race in a one piece, or possibly bikini.”
Maybe the station should ask their listeners which swimwear choice Steph should select.