The writing staff at the Hall of Crazy Women has caught an Olympic fever of 2008 degrees!! I know, bad joke. Bad but true because if I was actually afflicted with a real Olympic fever it would truly be that hot. Thats because the games of the 29th Olympiad are so incredibly intense and I am obsessed to an unhealthy degree. Besides watching pretty much 24/7, I have also been doing some research on the history of the games (I own a big book on the subject). And much to my delight I have discovered quite a few crazy women have had the honor of calling themselves Olympians. Here are just a few of the ones that I've found from the summer games. Some of these women are more famous than others (in America at least), and most have secured spots in their own sports' Halls of Fame for their medal winning performances. But I believe each of these gals deserves a spot in our very own Hall of Fame for their crazy antics and personalities.
Nadia Comaneci: Most people know Nadia for being the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 in an Olympics competition. In fact, she received 7 perfect tens at the Montreal Games. In total she has 5 career Olympic gold medals and is one of the greatest Olympians ever. And what is she doing now? Well she is touring the U.S. giving "inspirational" speeches with Mark Spitz endorsing Botox. The campaign is called "Your Personal Best" and aims to make the lives of participants richer by making their faces lifeless and cheap looking. How ironic. Hey, I get it, she's got to make that money somehow. I just wish she would approach the matter with the same integrity that she did gymnastics. I mean if you are selling Botox just sell it, don't make it seem like you actually care about the lives of the people you are taking money from.
Svetlana Khorkina: I always called this Russian gymnast "the duck" because I think she resembles one. Her always pouty lips remind me of a beak. I actually found this photo that compares her to an ostrich and I concur she is definitely more ostrich like than duck. I was close with the bird analogy though. Looks aside, she was a great gymnast who earned 7 career Olympic medals. But she also earned herself the nickname, "the diva," because of her strong temper and outspoken nature. For instance she claimed the 2004 Athens all around competition was fixed in favor of Carly Patterson. Collusion and bias are not uncommon in judged Olympic competitions, but honestly conspiracy theories, Svetlana? You're crazy. She also showed off her nude bird parts in Russian Playboy (NSFW).
Dawn Fraser: Eight time Olympic medalist (4 golds) and Aussie swimmer, Dawn Fraser is a living legend Down Under. She made my list because of a crazy scandal she was involved in during the 1964 Tokyo games. She allegedly had a few drinks, climbed a flag pole at the IMPERIAL PALACE, and stole the Olympic flag. I've also read that she did this naked!! Well she did an interview where she talks about the incident, and her own account doesn't sound as crazy but I still think shes a total bad ass! Lets see Natalie Coughlin or Amanda Beard do this in Beijing.
Eleanor Holm: This Olympic swimmer and gold medalist from the 1932 Los Angeles games embodied what we call "Old Timey Craziness." This a term with many meanings. First it is when a person does something crazy in a bygone era that really isn't considered crazy by today's standards. Things like revealing your ankles and not wearing a hat to church. In Eleanor's case she was suspended from the 1936 Berlin Games for getting drunk on the boat ride there. So what if she was (allegedly) found unconscious due to her drunkenness, thats a normal weekend for me. She was a victim of her time period. A second meaning for the term is the flamboyant, flashy, glamorous, theatrical, and hammy way that old time starlets behaved. Eleanor exudes this trait profusely. Here is a quote from her Wikipedia entry: "The following year...she married her first husband...and performed with his band while wearing a white bathing suit with a white cowboy hat and high heels, singing 'I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande.'" And here is how one of her ex-husbands described her lifetsyle: "she had had seven servants, 113 pairs of shoes, 41 sweaters and 11 fur coats; at Christmas, he added, he had put in her stocking pieces of coal wrapped in $10,000 government bonds." I could not make this stuff up if I tried! There is one part of Holm's story that does not stand the crazy test of time, however: when she arrived in Berlin--after being suspended from the U.S. team--she fraternized with the Nazis and received a silver swastika from Goering himself! OK, so maybe she was not just old timey crazy but also actually crazy.
Marion Jones: On this website, we chronicle the exploits of famous crazy women. We make fun and ridicule them, but its important to point out that, all comments aside, we love them. Well at least 99% of the time. They are some of our favorite people and they inspire us to pursue a life filled with pizazz and creativity. However, this is not the case with Marion Jones. I do not love her; rather, I hate her! Flashback to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. I was a starry eyed 9th grade runner watching one of my idols win 5 medals. I really loved her. (I even ran in the same meet as her, the 2000 Penn Relays, which was totally boss). Fast forward to 2007, when, after much speculation, she admitted to doping during the Olympics and was stripped of all her medals. She was always surrounded by shadiness, but when I heard she admitted to this I think my heart broke a little bit. Therefore I think she is a bitch, an embarrassment, and an abomination. And now she is in jail in part for perjury. She lied about doping and also about her involvement in a fraudulent check scheme. Check fraud? That is one of the trashiest crimes. What a piece of crap.
These are only a few of the many many crazy ladies who have competed at the summer Olympics. Check back in 2010 for the Vancouver games when we discuss crazy winter Olympians like Tonya Harding and Oksana Baiul. I can't even wait!