While the USA took control in many sports, such as track and field and diving, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, there are a few sports that we just don't hear a lot about during the Olympics. These sports have never been won by a U.S. athlete and many in the USA don't know much about the sports at all. I mean, how much coverage did you see on badminton, table tennis or handball this summer? And no, the badminton controversy does not count.
Now, as a fan of another sport that lacked popularity in the U.S. until recent years, I realized that these sports just need to change their image in order to gain some popularity and American followers. They need to make a wardrobe change and add some flashy pants. I mean, it worked for the Norwegian Curling Team during the 2010 Olympics.
Curling was not a popular sport in the U.S. but when Norway came out at the 2010 Vancouver Games, their pants were the talk of the Olympics. People were tuning in to see them play and the sport of curling, according to the United States Curling Federation, took off in the United States.
We all know that fashion can play a big role in sports. Just look at tennis and the Williams' sisters. How many articles have covered the various different tennis outfits they wear? Take a look at my favorite golfer, the late Payne Stewart, who was known for his traditional knickers. After his death, other golfers honored him by wearing similar outfits.
Even the women's boxing event that debuted at the 2012 Olympics had a wardrobe controversy. I covered this in an article when the International Amateur Boxing Association suggested the female boxers wear skirts.
So maybe the problem with sports like badminton, table tennis and handball isn't the sport but the uniforms they wear. These sports just don't have uniforms that inspire conversation. Maybe by adding a little flair, they could gain a bigger following.
Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and avid sports and Olympics fan. She now works as a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the Olympics and NFL and brings her love of sports to her writing. Follow her on Twitter @fwcdeborah.