If you know me – and why would you not – you know I have favoured the Big Ten Network, which offers great coverage of all things athletic and Big Ten. Tremendous basketball, great hockey, and my new favourite sport – college wrestling. Although I am still attempting to understand the point system, it is enjoyable to watch, mostly because of the physical prowess of the wrestlers, and the intellectual agility that is required to perform at a high level of competition. And, I’ll admit, the men are obviously a pleasure to watch. In particular Hudson Taylor, University of Maryland undergraduate, a 23 year old ranked 3rd in the nation in his 197-pound weight class, with a record this year to date of 36-2, and an academic All-American, who happens to be one of the best straight allies gays could have. Hudson, engaged to be married to Lia Alexandra Mandagilo, is an outspoken advocate for gay rights – who took to wearing a Human Rights Campaign sticker on his headgear during some of his matches this season. Taylor seems too good to be true, working hard to generate a conversation about the cultural of homophobia in sport, made more difficult because of the obvious homo-erotic overturns of wrestling, and the need for athletes to reaffirm their heterosexuality, often at the expense of degrading gays, employing the famous “fag” as the go to insult. But nothing seems to deter Hudson, championing gay rights at every opportunity, discussing LGBT issues often, despite the awkwardness of the audience. He intends to pursue a law degree, followed by a career in politics, and well, if seems like I am gushing, I am. And so should you.
The antithesis of Hudson Taylor, is former figure skating champion Canadian Elvis Stojko, who is leading Skate Canada’s efforts to make more masculine the sport, and who believes the sport needs to attract an audience more heterosexual, more NASCAR, and less Johnny Weir. Stojko says that ‘people in the gay community have to realize they’ve got to take themselves out of it. It’s not against anybody, I’ve been getting heat for this, but there are people behind saying that they appreciate it. It’s about what people can identify with when they’re watching the sport. It doesn’t have to anything to with gayness. Effeminate men can identify with effeminate skating. Masculine men can’t identify with that. When I watch it, I can’t identify because I don’t move like that. My consciousness doesn’t fell like that.”
Cristiano Ronaldo, post Real Madrid match, meets members of the Formula 1 and offers exhibit A, evidence that the smoking sexy Ronaldo and his abs do not require any or all retouching.
Ryan Miller, solid in goal, led the American men’s hockey team to a not surprising 5-3 victory over the hapless Canadian team Sunday evening in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics. Jon Hamm, his back again beard, and his girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt on hand for the action, cheering for Team USA, while directly behind them sat Hayden Christensen and girlfriend Rachel Bilson, cheering for Team Canada.