By Kim Rahn
TV broadcasters for the Rio Olympics have been making reckless sexist remarks about female athletes, raising viewers' eyebrows.
Bloggers are sharing such comments, mainly made by male announcers, on a Google spreadsheet, whose title translated into English reads "Archiving of sexist remarks of 2016 Rio Olympics broadcasting."
According to the spreadsheet, when Korea's Choi In-jeong appeared in women's epee individual, Saturday, a KBS announcer said, "Smiling like that, she looks like a contestant in a beauty pageant."
When the camera showed a foreign athlete straightening the bent end of her epee with mending equipment, he said, "It is impressive to see a female athlete dealing with iron equipment."
Introducing the Vietnamese opponent to Korean judoka Jeong Bo-kyeong, an SBS commentator said, "She participated in the London Olympics. She is 28 years old, which is old for a woman."
For the 48 kilogram elimination round in judo, a male KBS announcer asked his female co-announcer, "Do you weigh more than 48 kilograms?" He also described a female judoka as "a slender girl."
Another SBS announcer talked about a Mongolian judoka: "She looks soft and delicate, but she is tough when participating."
A KBS announcer for beach volleyball said beaches in Rio de Janeiro reminded him of Brazilian beauties in bikinis. He also said: "We need to go to the beach with girls. With only male members, we have nothing to do except eat grilled pork."
During the women's 100-meter backstroke, a commentator said about a 13-year-old Nepali swimmer, "She deserves applause. She is pretty, too."
On female weightlifters, an MBC announcer said, "They are not men. It is really amazing for women to do that."
The blogger who started the spreadsheet, J00_D4N, announced plans to make an official complaint to the broadcasting companies after collecting such remarks.
Internet users have also posted criticisms about sexism in sports broadcasting. "Athletes should be evaluated based on their ability. They've practiced very hard for four years, and all you can mention about them is their appearance?" a blogger said.
Another user said, "What's more shocking is that those announcers and commentators would think their remarks were being complimentary about the athletes."
A staffer at Korean Womenlink, a women's group, said it has been a long custom in sports circles to stress the femininity of female athletes by using expressions like "beauty." "People see male athletes as athletes and female athletes as ‘female,'" she said. "But it is encouraging to see that the public is moving to change such sexist customs."