Until this week I had no idea who Corey Cogdell was. I had never heard her name before and I had no idea what she did. On August 6th though, I found out. Corey Cogdell is a two-time Olympic bronze medalist for Team USA's women's trap shooting. She has competed in the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics. She's not even thirty yet. Oh, and she's been married to Chicago Bears defensive end Mitch Unrein for the past two years.
Seeing that Mrs. Cogdell-Unrein is married to a Chicago Bear it is not surprising that her winning an Olympic medal would be written about by the Chicago Tribune. What is surprising is that her accomplishment is accompanied by her husband's job title. The headline reads: "Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears linemen Mitch Unrein, wins bronze in Rio"
My first thought was "wow, that's cool", my second thought was "wait, why is her husband's name even in this headline?" Because, actually, why is her husband's name in a headline about her medaling at the Olympics? It is unnecessary to mention Mitch Unrein. He didn't do it. He didn't win her the medal, she won it. In fact, he couldn't even be present in Rio. Mentioning him in the headline robs her of her accomplishment.
It is apparent that she won because she's good at her sport. She didn't win the medal because she's married to an NFL player. She won it because she is one of the best female trap shooters in the world. As she has been for the last eight years. She's only been married for two years. This is not about her husband, it's about her.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that Corey Cogdell is very proud to be married, to be a wife. I'm sure she loves her husband. I'm sure she takes her role as a wife seriously and does it well. I do not think that she should be disassociated from her husband. I do think that she should be credited for her accomplishments, and they should not be associated with her husband's accomplishments.
The thing that really got me was that I googled who won first and second place, Catherine Skinner of Australia won gold and Natalie Rooney of New Zealand won silver. Neither of them is married or at least not to a prominent figure and the headlines say things like "Catherine Skinner of Australia wins gold in women's trap shooting" Corey Cogdell's headline doesn't even mention her sport, just her name and that she won bronze.
A lot of the world is run on popularity contests. The Olympics is not one of those things. To be an Olympian means that you are incredibly talented, it means you're a world class athlete.
Corey Cogdell is a world class athlete and no matter what her marital status she should be recognized as such. Her success is something she has worked for and she should be credited for it on her own. After all, she's been winning Olympic medals longer than she's been married.