When the original "Nordic Nudes" unveiled themselves in 1998, even though I was a chaplain at those Olympics in Nagano, Japan I thought the whole idea was kinda funny and harmless. Now as a father I’m seeing things a bit differently. A recent conversation with the father of one of the Canadian nat’l team women who recently bared all for their "Girls with Guns" nude calendar was enlightening. I asked him (as did about a thousand others) how he felt about his daughter bearing herself for all the world to see. His answer, "It’s just too bad they have to do this anyway!" The tone certainly belied the fact that this was a fundraiser with an attitude. Actually, as much protest as money maker (and it has been successfully making money). But what message are they sending out? To me it’s loud and clear.... " ‘ can’t get what you want? Just take your clothes off!"
How many times have you heard an NBA or NFL player (usually after getting busted for some vice crime), exclaim, "I’m no role model...I don’t want to be a role model." Well guys, we’ve all got some news for ya, whether or not you want to be a role model, there are millions of young kids following your moves and emulating them. Same goes for Olympic athletes. Especially skiers. Especially in our town of Canmore. My 9 year old daughter has an autographed ski poster of the original Nordic Nudes hanging above her bed (the lycra clad one). She recently came home with her top 20 goals, several having to do with ski racing. In particular, noting the influence of Chandra Crawford, she wanted to win a world cup in her home town as she saw Chandra do the year before.
So biathlon girls, et. al....having a hard time with funding? Why don’t you buckle down and knock on some corporate doors yourselves instead of waiting for the overworked sport administrators to do so? How about picking up the phone and making some calls? That would certainly do a better job of preparing yourselves for a career after the skis and guns are put away. Or I guess you could just continue to take your clothes off, but what kind of career is that preparing you for?