Apparently, I'm not the only one who noticed this. On Saturday, Los Angeles Times media critic Steven Zeitchik published a column criticizing NBC anchor Meredith Vieira. During her interview with Utah skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace, Vieira suddenly brought up how Pikus-Pace had a miscarriage.
"… The discussion was," Zeitchik wrote, "the product of an Olympics TV culture that often puts emotional point-scoring above the other kind of point-scoring — you know, the one on the course or rink."
Zeitchik went on to write: "We've gotten used to broadcasters imposing personal arcs on stories of Olympic achievement, the trotting out of hardship to make more meaningful (though in fact to cheapen) a genuine athletic feat. This new strain of getting athletes to talk about a death is a troubling extension of that. At best they're questions that make everyone feel squirmy. At worst, they trade in a kind of emotional voyeurism."
But in doing some research, I found NBC isn't the only one discussing death. The Salt Lake Tribune mentioned Pikus-Pace's miscarriage, too. ESPN, USA Today and The Washington Post have all published stories on their websites making some mention of a death relevant to an athlete.
I found similar stories from the Associated Press, Reuters and the Agence France-Presse — three wire services whose content is published or broadcast by thousands of news outlets across the world.
Here is a running spreadsheet of athletes at the Sochi Olympics who have been associated with the death of someone.
Did I miss a story? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @natecarlisle.
Nate Carlisle is The Salt Lake Tribune's military reporter and a lifelong sports fan.