Crying at the Olympics

Zoe

Some US women’s hockey players cried after their loss to Canada, and they were mocked. 

Is this a problem?

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Today I found this great article written by Lesley Kinzel on this very topic. She writes: “[A]nytime anyone cries in a sport, some folks feel required to announce that there is no crying in that sport. No doubt some will argue that hockey, in particular, is not crying-friendly, being a big tough sport for big tough (wo)men.

The crying women’s team members were criticized for one reason: because they are women.

And women crying is a very different thing, culturally speaking, from men doing the same thing. Men’s tears may well be mocked, but are also occasionally moving, brave, or noble. Men’s tears have meaning, even when they are ridiculed. We tend to trust that if a dude is crying, he’s doing it for a reason. Women’s tears, on the other hand, are melodramatic and ubiquitous — when ISN’T a woman crying, right dudes?

The idea that hockey is usually crying-free is just inaccurate. There is plenty of crying in men’s hockey. I knew this intellectually, despite being a very casual hockey viewer, but even I was shocked when I googled “hockey crying” and found a ZILLION examples. The truth is that lots of male players cry over hockey, some on live television. Yes, even Canadians cry over hockey.

This is the totally understandable way of things, because these are individuals who care very much about hockey.

I’m of the opinion that no matter a person’s gender, there’s actually nothing wrong with crying, even in public, even in a hockey jersey.

It’s not exclusively “feminine” behavior, and even if it were, “feminine” is not bad. In life, as in hockey, we cry when we experience a loss that we feel deeply, a disappointment that we truly care about. We cry when we have failed to achieve the dreams for which we’ve worked the hardest, and believed so strongly we could make true. And sometimes we cry when we DO achieve those dreams, for the same reasons. It’s good to cry, because it means that we give [care]. It means we’re passionate. It should not be embarrassing. It’s just part of living a life in which we care about things.

So [don’t blame] the US Women’s hockey team for letting a few tears fall; it says nothing about their “toughness,” their sportsmanship, or their ability at their chosen sport. All it communicates is that they driven to win, like all competitive athletes are, and there is absolutely nothing shameful about that.”

Source: Lesley Kinzel, xojane

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