In olden times, it was the nickname for the waifish Mary Pickford, a leading film actress/mogul of the Silent Era. In modern times, it's a hype-enhanced female sports figure, whose presence will garner ratings for the broadcaster and added sales for the corporate sponsor(s). She does not have to be American, merely (made) popular in Ameri¢a: this phenomenon began with gymnasts Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci, after all. Latter-day examples: Mia Hamm, Michelle Kwan, and Dominique Moceanu.

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