The Waves

All the Layers of Mess at the Winter Olympics

Unpacking all the controversies at this year’s Games, from lack of diversity to climate change.


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, co-host of Slate’s podcast, Working, June Thomas is joined by Amira Rose Davis, history professor and co-host of the feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down. They dig into the “bog standard” sexism we keep seeing in the Games, the lack of diversity in the Winter Games (despite the International Olympic Committee constantly saying the Games are more diverse than ever), and why they still can’t stop watching the Olympics. (Spoiler: One reason is insomnia.)

In Slate Plus, is the IOC method of increasing female participation in the Games by introducing more mixed-gender events feminist?


June: Amazon Prime’s The Expanse

Amira: HBO’s The Fallout and Season 3 of Blue Wire’s podcast American Prodigies out Feb. 21.

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Shannon Palus and June Thomas.

Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to


About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

All episodes


  • June Thomas is the co-host of Slate's Working podcast. She is writing a book about archetypical lesbian spaces.

  • Amira Rose Davis is an assistant professor of history and African American studies at Penn State and a 2021–22 Harrington Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is finishing her first book, “Can’t Eat a Medal”: The Lives and Labors of Black Women Athletes in the Age of Jim Crow. She also is the co-host of the feminist sports podcast Burn It All Down, now on the Blue Wire podcast network.