Naked Female Water Jocks + National Lottery = Controversy

Recently, the folks at the UK’s Daily Mail decided to do something to help promote that country’s female Olympic “water” athletes and had a dozen of them show up at a local pool to be photographed underwater . . . naked.  But, of course, not the usual “Why did I post that on Facebook?” nudes. These are the kind of nude shots where young ladies either cover up their naughty bits or turn away from the camera in a way to hid the parts that usually get them in trouble. You know, all in good fun to promote various sports including swimmers, divers, water polo players and at least one member of the synchronized swimming team. The final picture (a compilation of all twelve shots melded together) appears at right. Kind of looks like an 80’s heavy metal band cover, doesn’t it?  (Check out the Daily Mail for a probably Not Safe For Work larger version and one that identifies each young lady.)

Yes, everyone was pleased with the picture and the attention it drew to Britain’s struggling female Summer Olympic athletes until someone pointed out that one of their major sponsors is a government agency, The National Lottery. Apparently some citizens had a problem with the government promoting/exploiting naked athletes . . . even ones trying to preserve their modesty in an attempt to promote their sports. They called it “exploitative” as if there was any other reason that women’s beach volleyball was so popular on TV.  So, of course, this is all a big mess over there . . . which means the photo will get even MORE attention that it would have if they had just kept their mouths closed.

Here’s more on the controversy from This Is Plymouth:

This photograph of Britain’s Olympic water babes without their costumes has sparked criticism for what one MP claimed was the linking of funding for the country’s elite athletes with “exploitative” public relations photoshoots.

The picture features Plymothians 21-year-old Tonia Couch and 23-year-old Brooke Graddon among a dozen swimmers and divers.

But Labour’s Barbara Keeley said it was “inappropriate” for sponsors to put conditions on athletes which attached their funding to such campaigns. In the Commons yesterday, Ms Keeley (Worsley and Eccles S) said: “I understand the National Lottery requires our elite athletes to do these sort of PR photoshoots as a condition of their funding.”

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