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Christine Brennan says sexist Olympics coverage needs to stop




Hungary's Katinka Hosszu poses with her gold medal on the podium after she won the Women's 200m Individual Medley Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016.
Hungary's Katinka Hosszu poses with her gold medal on the podium after she won the Women's 200m Individual Medley Final during the swimming event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 9, 2016.
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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The achievements of some of the most decorated athletes in the Olympic Games are being overshadowed in some media coverage by gender.

News outlets around the world are drawing criticism for how they're covering female athletes in Rio.

Take what NBC commentator Dan Hicks had to say right after Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu set a world record in the 400-meter medley and the camera cut to her husband Shane Tusup:

"There's the guy responsible for turning Katinka Hosszu, his wife, into a whole different swimmer."

Many on Twitter complained that Hosszu's accomplishment was immediately attributed to her husband.

It's just one of many examples of coverage that has focused on the spouses, outfits, or looks of the women competing for gold, instead of their athletic prowess.

USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, in Rio covering her 17th consecutive Olympic Games, says she's shocked there isn't some sort of system-wide memo that goes out to say "Ladies and gentlemen who are broadcasting for us: Enough. It's 2016. I don't know if you've heard, but a woman is running for President of United States. Get with the plan."

"The good news," Brennan says, "is this is Team Title IX. And once again, just like in 2012, there are more women than men on the U.S. Olympic Team. A record number-- 292 women. More than any other country has sent."

For those who are disappointed with the TV coverage of the Games, Brennan jokes that one option is to turn off the sound. The other option, she says, is to voice your concerns on social media.

"For women, if you're angry... and you're not happy with the coverage," Brennan says, "You can bombard NBC in a way that you never could before."

To hear the full interview with Christine Brennan, click the blue player above.