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Yvette Cooper: There's More To The Olympics Than Helen Skelton's Legs

The Labour MP warned that the media was "turning back the clock to boring sexism again".

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A senior Labour MP has called on the media to ditch sexist reporting of the 2016 Olympics, following a storm over BBC presenter Helen Skelton's dress.

Yvette Cooper told BuzzFeed News that the press should focus on the talents of the women athletes and presenters at the Rio games, rather than their looks.

She said: "We have got brilliant women athletes and excellent women presenters currently at the Olympics in Rio. We all thought London 2012 marked a fantastic change in attitudes properly celebrating women in sport.

"Seriously, let's not spoil it by turning back the clock to boring sexism again."

The Olympics only started on Friday and yet there have already been a number of sexist reports. When Hungarian swimmer Katinka HosszĂș won gold in the 400 metre individual medley, an NBC announcer gave the credit to her husband and trainer.

Then the Chicago Tribune announced Corey Cogdell-Unrein winning a medal in women's trap shooting with the tweet: "Wife of a Bears' lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics."

And on Sunday, the sexism moved from athletes to presenters when Skelton was criticised on Twitter for wearing a short dress at the side of the pool. Commentator Mark Foster was wearing similar-length shorts, but that did not receive any attention.

Skelton's dress length was picked up by the Daily Mail among other newspapers.

Monday's Daily Mail front page: A law unto themsleves #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

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