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The return of the Olympics signals the return of female athletes as sex symbols

PhotoDALLAS - Here at the USOC media summit ... making a difference and giving back.

We are about two months away from the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and already local NBC affiliates are celebrating the possibility of finally winning a local ratings book with lead-in programing that won't be cancelled one week after its debut.

First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to speak here at the Anatole Hotel here in downtown Big D. I'm hoping she won't dodge my question about why I can't turn on my water sprinkler on Monday.

Moving on ... the return of The Games means the return of photo shoots of Olympic athletes with impossibly fit figures wearing next to nothing. Personally, I'm appalled at such photo spreads of Amanda Beard, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, etc.

The age old debate of whether female atletes are exploited as sex symbols usually isn't far behind. I asked female swimmer Natalie Coughlin this morning if she felt that female Olympians are marketed as sex symblols more so than the men.

"You think? I don't know if our racing suits are very sexy," she said.

ME: There are some photo shoots that go far beyond that of the men.

Natalie Coughlin: You think?

ME: Yeah, absolutely. Amanda Beard. I didn't see any equivalent to that of the men at all.

00114320ca5510a991d048Natalie Coughlin: I think Brian has done some very sexy photo shoots. Michael Phelps posed with Bar Rafaeli as well.

ME: That's rough.

Natalie Coughlin: Yeah. It was a really hard day. He was in love the next day.

ME: So you don't see any double standard there?

Natalie Coughlin: I don't. No. I don't see any double standard whatsoever. I actually think there have been more sexy photo shoots involving the men side.

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Girls on the Right

When is the "Big" Mac Blog going to be represented in the world of sexy/provocative/nude pictorials?!??! We want to see Big Mac do some nude posing!!!

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