By Dick Friedman
Whenever they have been scheduled, beach volleyballers Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor have been getting extensive prime-time coverage on NBC. Nothing against them. Walsh, from Costa Mesa, Calif., and May-Treanor, from Hermosa Beach, Calif., are splendid, accomplished athletes and their competitions have the added virtue of coming to viewers live.
One California girl we have not seen much of in prime time (forgive me if I have missed it) is judo's Ronda Rousey (above, right). On Thursday, Rousey, a 21-year-old from Santa Monica, won the first medal by the U.S. in the sport when she took a bronze in the women's 70-kilogram class. Her back story ain't bad, either: As a piece by Pete Thamel in today's New York Times discussed, Rousey has had to overcome the suicide of her father, bulimia and a speech impediment. Her mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first American to win the world judo championships, in 1984. (You can also read about Rousey on her blog at nbcolympics.com). Wasn't her bronze-medal victory worthy of being shown on tape during prime time?
Of course, Walsh and May-Treanor are tall, tan, young and lovely -- and they play in bikinis. Rousey is listed at 5-foot-6 and 154 pounds -- and she plays in, essentially, a robe.
Are you at all bothered by this? Are there other athletes that you think deserve more air time?