If you still read physical ink-and-pulp newspapers, you may have seen this full-page ad in the August 26, 2016 edition of USA Today.
The ad was placed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation to congratulate the USA Shooting Team’s three Olympic shooters who brought back medals from Rio this month, all of them female.
Featured prominently in the ad is a photo of Kim Rhode, Ginny Thrasher, and Corey Cogdell-Unrein.
Thrasher brought home the country’s first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games, a gold, pulling off a remarkable upset in the women’s 10-meter air rifle event on August 6. She beat silver medalist Du Li of China in the final round with a total of 208.0, setting an Olympic record in the finals.
Cogdell-Unrein won the bronze medal in women’s trap on August 7, competing against Spain’s Fatima Calvez. The two finished the 15-target round tied at 13 each. In the shoot-off, Codgell-Unrein won, claiming her second Olympic bronze medal.
“You can’t compare an Olympic shoot-off to any other,” she said at the Games. “The pressure is unlike anything. You want it so bad.”
Codgell-Unrein, 30, who has been competitively shooting for 15 years, found herself in the middle of a “twitterstorm” after her win, with the Chicago Tribune choosing to focus on who the shooter’s husband is rather than her achievements, Tweeting “Wife of Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.”
Many were not amused.
“My husband texted me and he said, ‘Oh my gosh. Have you seen what’s going on Twitter and social media? People are talking about you and kind of going crazy,” Cogdell-Unrein says in this story from wbur.org. “Well, you know, initially when I read it, I didn’t really think much of it to be completely honest,” Cogdell-Unrein says. “It didn’t come off to me as something that was intentional or malicious. I just kind of thought, ‘Well, you know, they probably could’ve chosen a better heading to alert people of my victory.'”
The final Olympian in the photo, Rhode, found herself in the midst of a quieter brand of controversy after her win as well.
Rhode set an Olympic record when the 37-year-old became the first woman to medal in six consecutive Summer Games, a feat only matched by Armin Zoggeler, an Italian luger.
The controversy came over a perceived lack of attention given to Rhode’s accomplishments from the mainstream media due to her outspoken politics regarding gun rights and the Second Amendment and her public support of presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Snopes.com lists this assertion as False, saying “While one could argue that her victory deserved more media attention, it’s incorrect to say that the media ignored her victory, and disingenuous to claim that the reason was due to her support for the second amendment and Donald Trump.
“Stories about Rhode’s history victory were published by multiple major U.S. news outlets, including USA Today, the New York Times, CBS Sports, SB Nation, NBC, WGN, and the Chicago Tribune.”
“Other prominent national publications such as Time, Forbes, the Huffington Post, and NPR published articles about Rhode’s accomplishments that highlighted her views on the Second Amendment.”
However, much of the text afforded to her was scant compared to coverage of other Olympians. The New York Times article, for example, devoted 146 words to Rhode’s historic achievement.