When I saw Daphne Schippers dive over the line in the Rio 2016 women’s 200 metres I thought she had been inspired by Shaunae Miller (below). The second runner I’ve seen diving over the line since the 400 metres final. The photo below is of Miller winning the 400 metres, so is a positive one.
I thought that because unlike Miller, who won the 400 metres with her dive, there was nobody really close to Schippers in the 200 metres (below), won by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who also won the 100 metres.
The only other reason I can think of for Schippers’s dive, other than emulating Miller, was that she thought somebody might be catching her from behind, and out of view.
Schippers White and the Seven Doubts
(wordplay with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; later thinking I should make clear that it was wordplay created before realising there were seven other runners in the final. I’m not being derogatory to dwarves, or runners, just trying to show how sensitive writing has to be to be politically correct, as Ricky Gervais has done before, with this passage complementing the points below, which were written before this!).
Secondly, I thought I’d be okay blogging this, because of Schippers’s ethnicity.
Thirdly, I thought she’s a woman, so it might not be okay with women who don’t accept my feminism with a small f.
Fourthly, I thought she’s Dutch, so I might anger Dutch people, most of whom are probably already pretty upset today, after their heroine lost the race.
Fifthly, I thought people who only filter everything through sex and race, would think that if I’m not doing it for white over black race, with Schippers having lost the race making it unlikely, I must be doing it for something to do with sexuality.
Sixthly, I thought those obsessed with sexual interpretations for everything could either think I’m writing it because I’m attracted to her; or because she hasn’t asked me out.
Seventhly, I thought I might upset other white people, who might think I’ve succumbed to Multicultural Fascism in the U.K., and only feel comfortable criticising white British/European origins people: becoming sheepish myself.
Saved by Wordplay
The fact that I picked out Schippers’s dive and not the previous one would seem to support the last point, but I would argue that Schippers’s dive was a more obvious example of copying, as there was nobody close to her at the finishing line.
Moreover, Schippers’s name sounds like sheep(ers), which fits into what I am writing about.
I don’t think Schippers is any more sheepish than normal, and I have often copied other sports people when taking part in sports. I think it is normal for humans and other animals to copy each other – and is one of the signs of intelligence for animals – teaching is basically getting others to copy the teacher.
Sport not Sexuality
I don’t find Schippers that attractive at the moment either, as she’s too muscular. Some toning is quite nice, but I don’t like big muscles on women – just my tastes and choice, not telling anybody how to look. Schippers looks like she could be very attractive without the muscles, which she obviously needs for her running.
For some women, such as vegan Serena Williams, muscles are important to their performance, and they put their sport before their looks; although they might prefer their looks the way they are?
I don’t find sporting looks attractive overall, as those who are obsessed by sexual explanations for everything (Freudians?) might guess. I think Paula Radcliffe looks much nicer now in the studio, wearing casual evening clothes, than she did when running.
Paula Radcliffe and Jane Tomlinson being my biggest inspirations for my endurance running was all down to them being the most inspirational long distance runners at the time, and had nothing to do with their looks or sexuality.
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