In anticipation of the London Games – I don’t know about you, but I’ve been warming up with my Michael Phelps’ Beijing DVD – we at WAG have decided to go full out for some gold of our own with an issue devoted to all things Olympian, glittering and British.
To me, few subjects have been as Olympian as our cover girl Donna de Varona. It’s not just that she was the youngest swimmer at the Rome Games or won two golds in Tokyo, impressive though those achievements are. But here is a woman who has fought all her professional life for equality in athletics and for women in general. In our post-feminist age, we sometimes forget when women had much less access to sports, higher education and many careers. We owe it to women like de Varona that we have the luxury of forgetting, even though, as she tells our Patricia Espinosa, the battle has not yet been won.
Donna, who lent her name and fab Olympic necklace to the Bruce Museum’s stunning Olympic exhibit (another one of our features), is just one of the Olympians past and present you’ll meet this month. Some, like swimmer Maritza Correia and rower Paul Teti, are the subjects of individual profiles. Others, like three-time gold medalist and NBC commentator Rowdy Gaines, were gracious enough to share their thoughts in some of our other stories, including what I’m sure will be a provocative read on the nature of sports rivalries.
Everyone has a fave – Yanks-Red Sox, Giants-Cowboys, Canadiens-Maple Leafs – we could go on. (And believe me, we did.) But we also let the fans weigh in for WAGwit and hope you’ll join the discussion on our Facebook page.
We got into the whole rivalry thing in light of the upcoming duel in the pool between Phelps and Ryan Lochte, who has familial ties to WAG country and occasionally makes appearances at local youth clubs. Ryan, however, is also one of the many athletes who’s into fashion, which gave us an excuse to plumb Ralph Lauren’s Olympic looks, new fragrances, gold jewelry, even glittery cosmetics. (As if we needed an excuse. If they gave out medals for shopping, we’d be on the podium every time.)
Sometimes we took “going for the gold” quite literally, as in our piece on the “gilty” erotic pleasures of Gustav Klimt. But we also understand that some people are just golden at life, like businessman Stephen Grisanti, who applies the perfectionist’s eye to everything he does.
Speaking of golden, I know WAG readers join with me in welcoming back this month former columnist Seema Boesky, whose passion for buying, refurbishing and reselling homes to her own Olympian standards is the subject of a Mary Shustack profile. Welcome back, Seema.
And welcome to our own Patrick Gallagher, a business reporter for our sister publications who crewed at Boston College and so was a natural to take on the Paul Teti piece.
But just as we’re saying “hello,” we are also saying “goodbye” to WAGwell’s Sam Kopf, who’s off to law school. For several issues, Sam took my idea of following Ryan Lochte’s arduous dryland workout and ran with it. She not only interpreted it for athletically challenged folks like her creaky editor, but she cleverly related our themes each month to his life.
I’ll never forget her perseverance. I know my inner thighs won’t.