But I will mention Tiger Woods, who for many years was an advertiser's and broadcaster's dream. He too used to be one of my favorites. Before his unforgivable (IMHO) personal transgressions came to light, I was among many who would have said that he was as All-American as you can get.
I can tell that you meant no harm, Robeye , and I hope you understand that I'm not picking on you.
If I seem overly fixated on your original reference to hair color, here is my reason: if I do not point out (politely) that blondness is not synonymous with or deserving of automatic unanimous popularity, then I feel that I am "enabling" the perpetuation of the stereotype. By saying something, I hope to chip away at the lingering stereotype and make any and all messengers think twice before they invoke it as casual shorthand or a throwaway line. (Although "fair-haired" has not died out [yet?] either, I myself avoid using the expression.)
And I always love hearing about fine-looking women who dye their hair darker, such as Tessa Virtue and Meryl Davis (ETA: assuming what I have read about them is true), and the actress from "Modern Family," whose name escapes me at the moment (ETA: Sofia Vergara, who has talked openly about dyeing her naturally blonde hair) .
Everyone is entitled to her/his favorites (and non-favorites). Gold is fortunate to have you among her ardent fans. (As for Maroney, I have a theory that her face was widely misinterpreted, but don't worry, I do not think this thread is the place for it. )
(I don't claim to remember to what extent Yamaguchi's Olympic gold immediately resulted in monetary opportunities. But if the list cited by Mathman is reliable, her current net worth is tied with Boitano's at $18 million. Not too shabby. For comparison: Scott Hamilton = $30 million; Peggy Fleming = $8 million; Shaun White = $20 million.)
Turning to the pros and cons of "corn-fed," ... just kidding, I'm not touching that one, LOL.
ETA: Thanks to Mathman for his update on Mr. Pell.
Patrick Chan dissolves easily into statistical trends, however, his scores definitely do NOT. There are two clear top teams in Dance. Yuna does impact the open-ness of the Ladies field. Who care about Pairs? (Not me. LOL)
A minor quibble: while Kristi's net worth is now, relative to peers, impressive, she's had a long time in which to make it (eg the efffects, both direct and indirect, of her participation in "Dancing With The Stars"). I still suspect that if a financial snapshot had been taken in the year after Olympics glory, her earnings would have been nowhere near the level of a Janet Lynn or a Dorothy Hamill.
(Edit: I'm a huge fan of Tiger the golfer as well, even after his run-in with the fire hydrant)
But overall the thing I hate most about her is that she hides behind "being a woman". It was her stick in Indycar all the time - she'd be in a wreck (most often causing it), and then she'd go charging down the pitlane, shoving and pushing and punching the chests of the other poor blokes involved in the wrecks, screaming at them and blaming them for it - knowing darn well that none of them would ever dare so much as push her back because there were cameras and they couldn't possibly lay a hand on a woman, no matter how much she was laying into them. It was utterly disgusting. Her diva antics, her poor attitude, and her sense of entitlement are unbelievable.
And whether you like it or not, her career IS based upon her posing in a bikini. How do you think she got her first big drive? Bikini photoshoot. Although GoDaddy.com are reportedly getting quite sick of her antics and are preparing to dump her, since their current Indycar driver, James Hinchcliffe, is a much more likeable and marketable character, rather than some diva princess pitching fits every time something doesn't go her way.
Although sometimes I get the sense that advertisers look like they are really straining to make a point. In other words, the real message of some of these efforts seems to be: "Look how open-minded we are!"
Yes, I agree, the normative prescriptors have made significant headway in recent decades. But there is still some ways to go before it becomes the new pragmatic diagnostics .
Shifting gears, is anyone up to more discussion of whether falls are sufficiently punished by the IJS.?
In diving, a "failed dive" automatically results in zero points. There are five stages of a dive that that contribute to the score: the staring position, the approach, the take-off, the flight, and the entry. If the entry is wrong (meaning you hand on your back or stomach), that's a failed dive. I suppose the analogy in figure skating would be under-rotation combined with a fall. In the case of a failed dive, it doesn't, matter how wonderful the take-off and form in the air were, the dive failed.
There are also deductions for a "balk" (I guess that would be like a popped jump), and for not doing the type of dive that was announced (flutz). There is also a deduction for hitting your head on the diving board on the way down (crashing into the boards? dropping your partner on her head is pairs?)
I learned this by watching the "diving with the stars" show Splash.
If you will allow me a new little tangent that is unrelated to jumps -- but is related to popularity of Olympic sports:
Do you watch diving during the Summer Olympics too? Am just curious whether the celebrity diving show has appealed to you -- and even been instructive to you -- in a way that NBC Olympics coverage has not?
Eisler's infidelity with his celeb partner ruined the concept of celebrity skating shows for me (making me regret cheering for B/E during their heyday), but do you think the celebrity shows of the past had any positive effect on skating's popularity? (I honestly don't know if that was even one of their goals.)
(I like Olympic diving -- without being a serious student of the rules. The few random snippets of "Splash" that I have seen have not drawn me into watching at any length, mostly because I really worry about the celebs injuring themselves.)
Personally, I don' think the risk-reward ratio is quite right in skating. There's insufficient penalty to prevent skaters who are not consistent with the big tricks from attempting them. Think of some of the debates we've had here... "Yes, Skater X fell, but he was less than 1/4 turn short and he clearly held the jump for nearly a second before he fell, so that should be rewarded with some technical merit; it's not like he doubled the jump... I can even make a case for neutral GOE because the takeoff was excellent... blahblahblah"
Contrast that with something simple like: "He did not successfully land the jump. No credit and a standard penalty for the fall."
For some reason, though, I never took it into my head to learn anything about the scoring. As far as I can remember, they never said much about it in the Olympic telecasts. About the only thing I knew was, big splash, bad; no splash, good.
I didn't really watch the celebrity show Splash. It just happened to be on TV in the background a couple of times, and I caught some of it by accident. My feeling about the show was the same as yours -- how can they put such a dangerous show on television? What if someone fell on his head and ended up quadriplegic?
On the last dive in the finals, one of the contestants did not make the rotations and landed flat on her face. She was dazed and had the wind knocked out of her, and the lifeguard had to jump in and help her. When the judges gave their marks they said, well, by rights that was a failed dive, but since it was so high on the difficulty scale I'll bend the rules and give you a three. So that made me curious enough to look up the rules on the Internet.
As for the attempts at Skating with Celebrities shows in the U.S., they were duds. The Canadian one with hockey players was successful because hockey players are a big deal in Canada and also because, well, the hockey guys can skate. Plus, there was something entertaining in the image of a big bruising tough-guy being led about by a petite little pixy of a pairs skater.
Back in the day, Michelle Kwan did not always skate perfectly, but if she actually fell down there was a gasp of incredulity from the crowd. When she fell at the 2002 Olympics, it was well understood that the gold medal was gone. How can you give the gold medal to someone who FELL DOWN?
By the same token, when Plushenko fell in the short program, it was not just, "oh, too bad," it was shocking. We expected Olympic contenders to stay on their feet.
I couldn't tell you the rules for diving, but I always enjoy watching it at the Olympics, and one big reason is the splendid commentary given by Cynthia Potter. While I'm watching, she makes it completely understandable, though I don't retain the rules in my memory after the competition ends. Now with synchronized diving, I'm especially interested, because this is as close as it gets to defying gravity.
The celebrity diving show, however, I'm afraid to watch. That's an awfully dangerous sport to give to total newbies. Talk about throwing them in at the deep end! I watched for five minutes one night. One look at that diving tower, and I thought I was watching an auto race.
The American celebrity skating show was a downer for me. The level of skating wasn't high enough for me to enjoy it, and then when Lloyd Eisler enacted a soap opera with his celebrity partner, I was totally put off. The Russian one and the Canadian one are splendid, by contrast. Don't know why the Russian one is so good, because it's celebrities again and not athletes, but maybe they train harder. The Canadian one...some of that skating is first rate. The James Bond number that Gordeyeva does with Valery Bure is electricity itself. She taught Bure some challenging lifts, and she throws herself into them as if she trusts him completely not to drop her. He does a throw jump with her, even! I suspect Gordeyeva made Bure spend a lot of time learning just to skate around, because they move like silk. And of course she conveys the music and the emotion. From Russia with love indeed.
And hooray for the chance to see Greg Louganis! He hasn't gotten any plainer in the last thirty years.