Riding the momentum of the highly celebrated Wimbledon tennis tournament, Eugenie Bouchard earned the rare honor of being featured on the cover of Sportsnet Magazine, one of Canada’s most popular magazines. The nod is certainly testament to Bouchard’s white-hot popularity, sex appeal and her status as one of Canada’s rising sports stars.
In the last year, Bouchard is only the second female athlete to appear on the cover of the periodical. The toher was mountain bike racer Emily Batty, adorned in a bathing suit for the “Beauty of Sport” edition. Although there is no question that Bouchard certainly deserves a chance to appear in a future edition of Beauty of Sport, she is part of a new generation of Canadian female sporting heroes, such as Christine Sinclair (soccer), Tessa Virtue (figure skating) and Natalie Spooner (hockey).
Unfortunately, the periodical did not have a feature story to back up her cover appearance. Highly respected columnist Stephen Brunt wrote a back-page commentary (where he can be found on every issue) about Bouchard’s impact. There was also a brief write-up in the opening section discussing her earnings and the fact that she shares the same coach as Jim Courier and Jennifer Capriati. Sadly, the lack of extensive coverage would seem to indicate there is an opportunity to expand female sporting coverage.
Despite the lack of a feature, Bouchard’s appearance on the cover raises the important question of why there are not more female athletes on the covers of sporting magazines. Besides the growing influence of female athletes as role models for young girls, it would add a much-needed boost of legitimacy that women’s sports are as competitive as their male counterparts.
Based on the year that Bouchard is having, it is highly possible that she could become the first female athlete to appear on the cover twice. This year alone, she has already exceeded $1 million in earnings. In a year, where she faced her childhood hero Maria Sharapova at the French Open, the possibility of becoming the first Canadian female to win a Grand Slam title only adds to the excitement.
Already making a strong case to win the Lou Marsh Trophy, awarded annually to Canada’s athlete of the year, she is certainly emerging as a candidate to be honored as Canada’s newsmaker of the year. All signs that Bouchard’s image may be gracing more magazine covers in her future.