- The Washington Times - Friday, August 27, 2004

Kerri Walsh and Misty May are “seared — seared” in the memory bank, and they do not claim to have been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve in 1968, in desperate search of Col. Kurtz and Dennis Hopper.

Walsh and May are the two highly gifted beach volleyball participants who avoided the genuine risk of a “wardrobe malfunction” en route to claiming the gold medal at the Athens Games this week.

The absence of a “wardrobe malfunction” was as impressive as their spirited performance, given the two pieces of teensy-weensy cloth that passed as the uniform.

You are surprised their tops did not come with a pair of tassels. They might as well have played with a feather boa.

One unfortunate move by either woman, and America would have had another Janet Jackson moment, whereupon the pompous half-pint known as Bob Costas would have delivered a lame commentary, while hoping no one recalled how much of a wimp he was after Vince McMahon unleashed his testosterone on him.

These have evolved into the Skin Games, no doubt about it, with viewer discretion and crossed fingers advised.

Many of the Olympians are competing under the threat of catching a cold.

We are watching under the threat of more FCC hearings, Senate investigations and anything that might pop into the dimly lit brain of Jackson, who has decided to play the nipple card during the presidential election season.

“I truly feel in my heart that the president wanted to take the focus off of him at that time, and I was the perfect vehicle to do so at that moment,” Jackson says of her “wardrobe malfunction” that eclipsed the Super Bowl at the nation’s water coolers the next day.

Many of the Olympians appear to have been outfitted by Jackson’s designer.

There are people who wear more clothing to take a shower than the Olympians are wearing in their respective venues. You have not seen this much skin on the screen since “Boogie Nights.”

Here is the thing: You can appreciate the low-riding fashion statement as much as the next person, except with the male plumbers who started the trend decades ago. You just had no idea it was coming to the Olympic swimming pool.

You said the following to your television set last week: “Pull up your shorts, Michael Phelps.”

Let’s not get started on the ultra-skintight uniforms of the men in track and field. They have to be kidding. NBC has to be careful with how it trains its camera on certain parts of the body.

We should have known these were going to be the Playboy Games after the magazine punctuated the affair with an incredibly tasteful pictorial of various female Olympians, and hardly anyone said a word in protest.

Usually, when a young, attractive, extremely fit female athlete sheds her clothes, the fire-breathing, blue-haired feminists in America bemoan the terrible objectification of women in the sick, twisted, hateful male-dominated marketplace.

At least no one can charge Athens with being sexist. Its skimpiness transcends gender.

If it appears you just stepped out of a burlesque line, then you must be an Olympian. The starry-eyed do not know whether to ask for an autograph or offer a bathrobe.

A few Olympians are wearing less clothing than the dancers, if only by a thread.

Tell you what: None of the various Olympic committees busted the budget on these leave-nothing-to-the-imagination uniforms.

Give Walsh and May credit. After winning the gold medal, they made their way to the stands to celebrate instead of dancing around the two poles holding up the net.

The hands-on connection between the two athletes and the spectators was obvious.

It is a good thing these touchy-feely exchanges took place amid the joy of Athens.

If the venue were one of the scenic overlooks stationed along the Virginia side of the Potomac River, it would have been termed heavy petting.

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