Magdalene Zerbe

Diving Deeper: Analyzing the 2016 Olympic Swimming Coverage”


During the 2016 Olympic games, the quantity of media coverage of female and male athletes was near equal. However, the qualitative factors remain questionable. Outside of Olympic coverage, the media’s representations of women’s and men’s sports is largely disproportionate. Women’s sports are covered far less than men’s sports, as less than 5% of national media coverage, on primetime network television, is devoted to female athletes. With the world of sports being traditionally dominated by men, and the gendered quality of coverage reflecting such, it is crucial to consider the ways in which women are talked about, reported on, and framed in the media. Going further, it is important to account for the representations consumed by the mainstream audiences during the Olympic Games, as women are provided an international platform. This study textually analyzes the highly viewed swimming events during 2016, focusing on the language and framing of both the male and female athletes competing.