On Tuesday, February 4th, our own Brandi Koskie tuned into the season finale for “The Biggest Loser” season 15. She was watching the program from her living room, which was unusual—she’s been in the audience at well over half of the past season’s finales. What she saw shocked her, and she’s not alone.
The winner of the contest had lost a shocking 60% of her body weight, reducing her 5’5″ frame to a painfully thin 105 pounds. Although Koskie was one of the first to rally against NBC and the show, telling them they’d gone too far, other news outlets soon followed suit. Winner Rachel Frederickson said she feels “absolutely great”, but this didn’t stop any of the concern for her and criticism for the way the “game” is played.
Does a sports organization have the right to tell a player she’s too fat to play in a tournament? That’s the question surrounding Taylor Townsend, a 16-year-old tennis player in the U.S. Open juniors tournament.
Townsend is a sensational player, ranked number one for junior girls in the world. She won both singles and doubles in the Junior Australia Open in 2012 and the Wimbledon Junior Girls Doubles, and USA Today and others have even compared her to the Williams sisters. However, she’s also bigger than most of the girls she plays against.
Because of that one fact, the U.S. Tennis Association decided not to fund her trip to the U.S. Open. She has been under their wing in their player development program, living full-time at the center for several years now. Her coaches decided that until the budding star slims down, they would not fund her attempts at getting into the U.S. Open. She will also not be able to attend any tournaments out of their pocket.
So, Townsend’s mother did what most mothers would do who believe in their daughter’s dream: she funded the trip herself. Townsend showed up at the tournament and is doing well so far; ranked as the No. 1 seed in girls singles. (more…)