The school agenda and fat Olympians
I am the mother of two amazing, little girls, and it broke my heart the other day when my kids came home and told me that their coach told them “If you exercise just 20 minutes every day, it will help make you not fat.”
What are our schools teaching our children? I know that the coach is simply following a plan, that it’s not personal, and it’s all mandated by the state and the nation what they have to teach (I have already yelled at him about this twice). But I do wish he would also talk about people like Holley Mangold, the 5’8″, 374 pound weightlifter who just qualified for the Olympics.
That’s right she’s death fat and going to the Olympics.
She earned a scholarship to Ursuline College, near Cleveland, and competed in track and field in the discus throw and shot put. There, her weightlifting intensified, and she left school to focus on that sport at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. To be an athlete of that level she exercises every day for at least three to four hours. But no, if you run around everyday for just 20 minutes you will lose weight, according to an elementary school coach.
What are they afraid of? If we teach our kids to work out and love a sport for the joy of movement, not health, are they afraid our kids will give up? Or are they afraid our children won’t be good little consumers who buy all the crap that the diet and beauty world is selling?
It’s still elementary school, so they aren’t starting the horrible and humiliating team sports yet, but this casual fat hatred with downright wrong data just pisses me off. He’s not calling fat people out in class, and he’s very careful when talking about it (almost uncomfortable). But it’s this constant pressure of “You have to move so you will be ‘healthy,'” and the constant, poorly-veiled propaganda that even my kids are questioning (I am a loud, fat activist who yells at weight loss commercials, so maybe I’m an influence here). I guess at least they are learning young that TV and society sometimes doesn’t have your best interests at heart, even when they think they do.
But why aren’t we hearing more about Holly Mangold? I’ve seen other Olympians already on Good Morning America showing off their sport and drumming up business for the Olympics. As the swimmers earned their place, we saw interviews.
I wish the teacher would use Holly as an example of how it doesn’t matter what your size, you can move and excel, no matter what, if you practice. It would basically be the same message, stressing the important of movement, with no shame involved. She even has a famous brother and they look alike! (We will save the inherent flaws of weight and BMI for another post, ok?)
Look how much she looks like her brother, Nick Mangold, the New York Jets’ four-time Pro Bowl center.
Hell, it took me ten different articles to find any info other than her name and that she was qualifying (thanks to the Chicago Sun-Times for printing her vitals). Half of the articles didn’t post her picture, but many did post the picture and info of her teammate, a much skinnier, though equally-talented, lifter named Sarah Robles.
Competing in the super heavyweight division, Holly won the clean-and-jerk competition by hoisting 319 pounds and was second in the two-hand snatch with a 242-pound performance. Holly wanted to follow in her brother’s footsteps and play professional football, but knew that being female she would never get the play time at a serious football college. So she turned to shot put and began lifting weights to train for it. From there, she got into it as a sport and set her eyes on the 2016 Olympics. She went to the 2012 Olympic trials for training and exposure, and ended up winning.
It just goes to show that 20 minutes of exercise per day may not make you skinny, but train for three hours or more a day and you could become an Olympian.