On Sunday, American trapshooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein won her second bronze medal in the sport at the Rio Olympics. She is well-known for getting the bronze at the Beijing Games in 2008 and many other notable achievements.
Interestingly, the Chicago Tribune didn’t think any of this information was as important as her marital status and who her husband is.
Announcing Cogdell-Unrein’s win at the Olympics, the Chicago newspaper had “Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein, wins bronze in Rio” as its headline. They didn’t even bother mentioning her sport, because obviously her marital status was what people would want to hear more about, right?
Although the Chicago Bears already get a lot of coverage by the newspaper, this time around there was no reason for them to omit Cogdell-Unrein’s athletic achievements to highlight those of her husband. It’s almost like they turned the whole spotlight onto Unrein.
“This is Cogdell-Unrein’s third Olympic games, but Unrein, a defensive end in his second season with the Bears, was unable to get away from training camp to join her in Rio and see her in the Olympics for the first time,” the Chicago Tribune wrote.
“The Bears open their preseason schedule Thursday against the Broncos at Soldier Field,” the article read on.
They also made sure to add in Cogdell-Unrein’s tweet where she is thanking her husband’s team for their support.
But all this wasn’t enough. The newspaper thought people would also want to know more about the couple, where they met and what they do in their leisure time.
“Cogdell-Unrein and Unrein, who met on a blind date the day before Super Bowl XLV in 2011, enjoy hunting together, but football generally prevents Unrein from joining his wife in her pursuit of elk and deer. They try to arrange waterfowl hunting trips during the bye week each season,” it wrote.
The piece of course wouldn’t be complete without a few words from Unrein, who had some expert advice to offer on the sport. "I am pretty proficient. I can't even put it into words (how his wife shoots). You go out there and watch the Olympic shooters, and you're like, 'Oh, I can do that.' Then you step on the line with the shotgun in your hand, and you call for the target. It is so fast. Normal American trap goes 35 to 40 mph. When they shoot, the angles are more severe, and they go 60 to 80 mph,” he said.
One can only wonder why words from the athlete herself were not included and the whole focus was turned onto her husband as if she owed her victory to him, or she was not worthy enough to be recognized for her achievements. It is about time women in the sports, entertainment and other industries are acknowledged as a separate identity and do not have to be linked to their spouse and partners when in the spotlight.