Mancuso and Ohno go retro, and it's just painful

Posted at 7:10 AM Feb 25, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

Julia Mancuso, why are you doing this tiara thing? It is pretty lame. And Apolo Ohno, what are you trying to say with that bandana and soul patch?

I've been addicted to the Winter Olympics for the past 14-ish days, making my couch into a bed and falling asleep and waking up to the Olympics. I have watched more Today than I ever thought possible, in hopes of glimpsing interviews with and profiles of my favorite Olympians. And in this time, I have grown to really enjoy Julia Mancuso and Apolo Ohno and their incredible, badass skiing and skating skills.

What I don't understand is why a grown-ass lady with such amazing athletic ability has to paint a tiara on her helmet and put on a glittery crown when she gets medals. Or why Apolo Ohno can't time warp out of 2002 and ditch the rap-rock bandana and facial hair.

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Okay, let's be real: these things freak me out because they remind me of who I was--and who my boyfriend was--in high school. I used to write "Teh PrIncE55" on all my binders and notebooks, and my car was decked out with sparkly crap and royalty-related stickers. My then-boyfriend, whose Facebook celebrity doppelganger would definitely have been Apolo Ohno had the site existed in '02, was exactly the type of guy to sport bandanas and soul patches (and crank up the Korn in his truck, oh man, seriously you guys).

And you know, we both grew out of these things to become mainly functional members of society. Sure, my love for sparkles continues to this day, but I am usually able to contain it to eyeshadow and the occasional Forever 21 tank top. I no longer refer to myself as a princess. And while I doubt Julia Mancuso actually thinks she's a princess, her tiara-waving puts me in mind all too vividly of a kind of self-entitled, silly presumption found frequently in teenagers. Girl, you have a gold medal! The tiara is just too much bling. It's tacky, even.

Maybe I want to have it all. Maybe I want to watch Olympians who don't remind me of the bad fashion choices of myself and my high school friends. Maybe I expect too much of the best athletes in the world. After all, if you are training for gold, you probably don't have time to realize that your facial hair says "I still listen to the Deftones" or that your bedazzled helmet says "Daddy gave me a $20 and I'm going crazy in Claire's today!" Maybe my expectations are just too high. But a girl can dream. That's what the Olympics are about, right?


BorgQueen said:

I think if you have worked your ass off your whole life, earned the privilege to represent your country in the Olympics and then win a medal you can pretty much dress/accessorize however you want. I personally don't find Apolo Ohno's soul patch and bandana attractive but if having those things helps him win (even if it is just Dumbo's feather), go for it, dude.

cat mage-girl said:

I gotta say, and this may just be the Hello Kitty fan in me talking, but if an occasion gives me an option to wear a tiara, I AM TAKING IT. ^_^

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