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Simone Biles has withdrawn from the individual competition


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I am heartbroken for her.  She was showing signs of struggling at trials and I was hoping that she would get the support she needed to be ok by the time she got to the olympics.   I can't even imagine the pressure she was put under.  Then all the stress that the pandemic has put on all the athletes.   I loved seeing all the support she is getting from her teammates, other athletes, and the press.  Kudos to her teammates for stepping up during the team event and how stressful that was for them.  And I am proud of how Simone handled it all.  She is such a class act.  I loved seeing her come back and support her teammates during the team events and then supporting the men in the crowd.  I wish nothing but the best for her.

 

Simone Biles gave hints of struggles well before Tokyo Olympics withdrawals (msn.com)

Edited by mommyoffive
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I'm hoping to see more mental health awareness for athletes (and everyone in general). Both Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles would be wonderful spokespersons on the importance of mental health, reducing the stigma of mental health issues, and advocating for acceptance for persons with mental health issues. 

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I am glad she is prioritizing her mental health and hope she getting the help she needs.  I really admire that she knew when to step away. I can't help but wonder if she would be better off without the media's obsession and hyper focus on her.   

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A case of "The Twisties"?

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Hannah Renno

The US women won a silver medal in gymnastics in Tokyo today. By many standards and opinions, this will be considered a "failure." I would like to share my perspective on why this is a massive victory.
 
Many have heard the media reports that began emerging exactly five years ago, while the women were competing in Rio. Since then, the depth and breadth and staggering quantity and severity of the abuse--sexual, physical, psychological, emotional--has been exposed. Some of it has been punished. Much of it has not yet been. But "the system" that allowed this, perpetuated this, and directly caused this needed to change.
 
The system has changed. Some. A new national team coordinator was named, and he has tried to foster openness and mutual respect. I had a lot of hope for his tenure, and the majority of national team gymnasts would testify that the culture is improved. Progress!
 
But, without losing my non-gymnastics audience in details and nuance, his leadership skills have been severely lacking. He has not adequately outlined the selection criteria for Olympic or World Championship qualification. When asked to identify his strategy beforehand, he said one thing, and literally did another. When asked by media why he made this change, his answers were dismissive and uncompelling, and his tone was disrespectful. In short, his strategy was, "Well we don't really need to worry about it, because we have Simone."
 
Imagine being 24 years old and being labelled as the greatest of all time. Admittedly, she has endorsed that branding with Goldie the rhinestone Goat on her leotards, but frankly, it's justified. Imagine breaking record after record at Olympics and World Championships and US Championships, and literally re-writing the Code of Points (she has four skills named after her already, and will have a fifth if she decides to compete her already-famous Yurchenko Double Pike). Imagine being the face of NBC for months leading up to the Olympics.
 
It's all an honor. It's all deserved. It all comes with lucrative endorsement deals.
 
And it's all A LOT of pressure.
 
Does the common man know how badly gymnastics hurts? Or do they make it look deceptively easy so you don't think about their pain?
 
So if we treat this as a math equation, so far we are adding together:
- Surviving sexual abuse by the doctor that your sports federation hired, plus
- Competing for an organization (USA Gymnastics) that has lied and withheld and destroyed documents that would be incriminating in these cases, and still in a legal gridlock with a massive lawsuit and bankruptcy, plus
- Giving repeated interviews that say a primary reason you are still competing is to hold the governing body accountable for its abusive actions, plus
- Being "led" by a leader whose whole strategy is "Don't worry, nobody can beat us when we have Simone," plus
- Being led by a leader whose wife can't refrain from being a keyboard warrior whining about all the (justified) criticism of her husband on the very eve of this epic meet today (don't look, it's sickening), plus
- Pressure amplified by media outlets and social media, plus
- Real physical pain, plus
- Real physical exhaustion, plus
- Real physical DANGER (I can't describe to you how complex, impressive, and downright dangerous these skills are that she is competing), plus
- Her own self-imposed goals and pressure, equals...
 
A very stressful life indeed. Under the Olympic microscope. With three of your best friends by your side, really hoping you can all hack it and earn the gold medal that is expected, and is even being treated as a foregone conclusion.
 
I read a quote from earlier this year that Simone couldn't wait until the Tokyo Olympics. Not for them to start; she couldn't wait for them to be over. What a mindset to be handling all this multifaceted pressure under.
 
My guess--and admittedly, this is purely speculation based on what I saw and what she said in interviews afterward--is that she lost air awareness in her vaults. Some people call it "The Twisties." It's like an inner ear equilibrium problem when you are flinging flipping flying twisting through the air at 100 mph. If you don't know where you are in your twist, then you have no idea when/how you will hit the ground. If you don't know how to prepare for the landing, it can hurt you. Very badly. Usually it stems from stress and lack of confidence in a skill. But once it happens once, it is very difficult to just "go back to normal." Sometimes it takes weeks. Or months.
 
My old teammates will remember this story, I'm sure. On December 1, 1998, I was training whip-two-and-a-halfs on floor. I was almost 15, and I had already competed 2.5's for a year, but the whip into it was new. I remember struggling with it, and I remember being frustrated and scared. I remember that I had done nine of them, because normally we stopped after about five repetitions of each tumbling pass. I couldn't wait to be done with them.
 
The next thing I remember, my coach was spoon-feeding me jello.
 
It took me quite a while to orient myself, but I finally concluded that I was in a hospital. My hands were tied to my bed. An IV was running. Monitors were beeping. And my coach was feeding me by spoon.
 
I remembered going to gymnastics the night before (was it the night before?). I thought through the rotations I had done, remembered tumbling, and thought, something must have happened on floor. I didn't have the energy or clarity to ask for more information.
I remember very little of the next few days. Final exams were the following week, so I asked for my parents to bring my textbooks so I could study. When I opened my Biology book, the words were literally swimming on the page, and it felt like someone stuck a knife in my skull. I closed the book, and went back to sleep.
 
I was discharged from the ICU after three days, when my brain swelling had subsided. I slept for most of the next week. I had colossal headaches and crushing fatigue. Somehow, I completed my exams, and two weeks later, I was cleared to go back to the gym for conditioning.
Long story short, I underestimated how painful that would be, and while I ended up having a very successful season, it was MONTHS to regain my confidence on twisting skills. I simply didn't trust my body to know where it was in the air. (On that fateful day, instead of 1 flip and 2.5 twists to my feet, I had done 1.25 flips and 2 twists flat to my back, completely missing my feet on the floor.)
 
Simone looked lost in the air. The same thing had happened in her last warmup vault before competing, which she had crashed into the ground. Instead of 1 flip and 2.5 twists to the left, you can see that by the end of the first twist, her head is at neutral, and in the last half of the twist (she did 1.5 total), her head is toward the right. Your head should never be to the right if you are twisting left. She was completely disoriented.
 
Miraculously, she landed on her feet in a deep squat, and touched neither her hands nor butt to the ground. She saluted, walked off, and looked stunned.
 
I've already seen several armchair gymnasts today calling her cowardly. That she's not mentally tough enough to handle the pressure. That she caved. That she gave up. That she wasn't willing to risk/sacrifice for her team. That she failed.
 
I'll tell you one excellent thing about the new gymnastics regime in the United States. Simone said she was not safe to compete. And they listened. And they supported her.
 
They did not shuffle her off the floor to hide her. They did not pressure her to continue. They did not relegate her to permanent banishment and judgment. They listened.
 
Who knows what would have happened if Simone competed the rest of the meet today. She says she was not at all confident that she could complete her routines safely. I think most people think, like, maybe her ankles are in jeopardy. Or she's just trying to avoid the embarrassment of a fall. Or the embarrassment of not winning a gold medal.
 
I hope my example provides insight that losing air awareness is literally life threatening. Her brain and spinal cord are genuinely at risk. Nevermind an Olympic medal.
 
So in my eyes, today was a victory. Simone had the privilege of thinking, feeling, and deciding. Her teammates had the privilege of rising to the occasion on the biggest of stages, under the brightest of lights. Jordan Chiles, who was not slated to compete on bars or beam today, stepped in and NAILED IT when it mattered. Grace McCallum has now hit eight for eight routines in the Olympics, with a silver medal to show for her courage and consistency. Sunisa Lee crushed the world's hardest (literally) bar routine when the pressure was massive. And she excelled on floor as the last American competing, when their "defeat" was already almost certain.
 
I hope people take advantage of the privilege of watching this 24-year-old's life unfold on their TV screens. She's tremendous when she soars, and she's tremendous when she speaks. Every day until today, she's showed us that she *can.* Today, she told us that she can't, and I respect her all the more.
 
It remains to be seen whether she will compete in her remaining FIVE events this Olympics. She's due up for the all-around competition in two days, and for all four event finals in the days after that. She is allowed to compete, and she is allowed to withdraw. Or she can choose some of each.
 
I hope she feels respected, empowered, admired, and love. I hope she feels confident in her gymnastics and in her decision-making. I hope she leaves here with heaps of perspective and no regrets. And I hope she forever cherishes what that silver medal today means for her, her teammates, the gymnastics community, and anybody who has EVER felt that the external pressure to "carry on" is too great to survive.
 
GO TEAM USA! Olympic Silver Medalists!!!!
Edited by Amy in NH
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45 minutes ago, Amy in NH said:

A case of "The Twisties"?

Copied from FB:

Hannah Renno

The US women won a silver medal in gymnastics in Tokyo today. By many standards and opinions, this will be considered a "failure." I would like to share my perspective on why this is a massive victory.
 
Many have heard the media reports that began emerging exactly five years ago, while the women were competing in Rio. Since then, the depth and breadth and staggering quantity and severity of the abuse--sexual, physical, psychological, emotional--has been exposed. Some of it has been punished. Much of it has not yet been. But "the system" that allowed this, perpetuated this, and directly caused this needed to change.
 
The system has changed. Some. A new national team coordinator was named, and he has tried to foster openness and mutual respect. I had a lot of hope for his tenure, and the majority of national team gymnasts would testify that the culture is improved. Progress!
 
But, without losing my non-gymnastics audience in details and nuance, his leadership skills have been severely lacking. He has not adequately outlined the selection criteria for Olympic or World Championship qualification. When asked to identify his strategy beforehand, he said one thing, and literally did another. When asked by media why he made this change, his answers were dismissive and uncompelling, and his tone was disrespectful. In short, his strategy was, "Well we don't really need to worry about it, because we have Simone."
 
Imagine being 24 years old and being labelled as the greatest of all time. Admittedly, she has endorsed that branding with Goldie the rhinestone Goat on her leotards, but frankly, it's justified. Imagine breaking record after record at Olympics and World Championships and US Championships, and literally re-writing the Code of Points (she has four skills named after her already, and will have a fifth if she decides to compete her already-famous Yurchenko Double Pike). Imagine being the face of NBC for months leading up to the Olympics.
 
It's all an honor. It's all deserved. It all comes with lucrative endorsement deals.
 
And it's all A LOT of pressure.
 
Does the common man know how badly gymnastics hurts? Or do they make it look deceptively easy so you don't think about their pain?
 
So if we treat this as a math equation, so far we are adding together:
- Surviving sexual abuse by the doctor that your sports federation hired, plus
- Competing for an organization (USA Gymnastics) that has lied and withheld and destroyed documents that would be incriminating in these cases, and still in a legal gridlock with a massive lawsuit and bankruptcy, plus
- Giving repeated interviews that say a primary reason you are still competing is to hold the governing body accountable for its abusive actions, plus
- Being "led" by a leader whose whole strategy is "Don't worry, nobody can beat us when we have Simone," plus
- Being led by a leader whose wife can't refrain from being a keyboard warrior whining about all the (justified) criticism of her husband on the very eve of this epic meet today (don't look, it's sickening), plus
- Pressure amplified by media outlets and social media, plus
- Real physical pain, plus
- Real physical exhaustion, plus
- Real physical DANGER (I can't describe to you how complex, impressive, and downright dangerous these skills are that she is competing), plus
- Her own self-imposed goals and pressure, equals...
 
A very stressful life indeed. Under the Olympic microscope. With three of your best friends by your side, really hoping you can all hack it and earn the gold medal that is expected, and is even being treated as a foregone conclusion.
 
I read a quote from earlier this year that Simone couldn't wait until the Tokyo Olympics. Not for them to start; she couldn't wait for them to be over. What a mindset to be handling all this multifaceted pressure under.
 
My guess--and admittedly, this is purely speculation based on what I saw and what she said in interviews afterward--is that she lost air awareness in her vaults. Some people call it "The Twisties." It's like an inner ear equilibrium problem when you are flinging flipping flying twisting through the air at 100 mph. If you don't know where you are in your twist, then you have no idea when/how you will hit the ground. If you don't know how to prepare for the landing, it can hurt you. Very badly. Usually it stems from stress and lack of confidence in a skill. But once it happens once, it is very difficult to just "go back to normal." Sometimes it takes weeks. Or months.
 
My old teammates will remember this story, I'm sure. On December 1, 1998, I was training whip-two-and-a-halfs on floor. I was almost 15, and I had already competed 2.5's for a year, but the whip into it was new. I remember struggling with it, and I remember being frustrated and scared. I remember that I had done nine of them, because normally we stopped after about five repetitions of each tumbling pass. I couldn't wait to be done with them.
 
The next thing I remember, my coach was spoon-feeding me jello.
 
It took me quite a while to orient myself, but I finally concluded that I was in a hospital. My hands were tied to my bed. An IV was running. Monitors were beeping. And my coach was feeding me by spoon.
 
I remembered going to gymnastics the night before (was it the night before?). I thought through the rotations I had done, remembered tumbling, and thought, something must have happened on floor. I didn't have the energy or clarity to ask for more information.
I remember very little of the next few days. Final exams were the following week, so I asked for my parents to bring my textbooks so I could study. When I opened my Biology book, the words were literally swimming on the page, and it felt like someone stuck a knife in my skull. I closed the book, and went back to sleep.
 
I was discharged from the ICU after three days, when my brain swelling had subsided. I slept for most of the next week. I had colossal headaches and crushing fatigue. Somehow, I completed my exams, and two weeks later, I was cleared to go back to the gym for conditioning.
Long story short, I underestimated how painful that would be, and while I ended up having a very successful season, it was MONTHS to regain my confidence on twisting skills. I simply didn't trust my body to know where it was in the air. (On that fateful day, instead of 1 flip and 2.5 twists to my feet, I had done 1.25 flips and 2 twists flat to my back, completely missing my feet on the floor.)
 
Simone looked lost in the air. The same thing had happened in her last warmup vault before competing, which she had crashed into the ground. Instead of 1 flip and 2.5 twists to the left, you can see that by the end of the first twist, her head is at neutral, and in the last half of the twist (she did 1.5 total), her head is toward the right. Your head should never be to the right if you are twisting left. She was completely disoriented.
 
Miraculously, she landed on her feet in a deep squat, and touched neither her hands nor butt to the ground. She saluted, walked off, and looked stunned.
 
I've already seen several armchair gymnasts today calling her cowardly. That she's not mentally tough enough to handle the pressure. That she caved. That she gave up. That she wasn't willing to risk/sacrifice for her team. That she failed.
 
I'll tell you one excellent thing about the new gymnastics regime in the United States. Simone said she was not safe to compete. And they listened. And they supported her.
 
They did not shuffle her off the floor to hide her. They did not pressure her to continue. They did not relegate her to permanent banishment and judgment. They listened.
 
Who knows what would have happened if Simone competed the rest of the meet today. She says she was not at all confident that she could complete her routines safely. I think most people think, like, maybe her ankles are in jeopardy. Or she's just trying to avoid the embarrassment of a fall. Or the embarrassment of not winning a gold medal.
 
I hope my example provides insight that losing air awareness is literally life threatening. Her brain and spinal cord are genuinely at risk. Nevermind an Olympic medal.
 
So in my eyes, today was a victory. Simone had the privilege of thinking, feeling, and deciding. Her teammates had the privilege of rising to the occasion on the biggest of stages, under the brightest of lights. Jordan Chiles, who was not slated to compete on bars or beam today, stepped in and NAILED IT when it mattered. Grace McCallum has now hit eight for eight routines in the Olympics, with a silver medal to show for her courage and consistency. Sunisa Lee crushed the world's hardest (literally) bar routine when the pressure was massive. And she excelled on floor as the last American competing, when their "defeat" was already almost certain.
 
I hope people take advantage of the privilege of watching this 24-year-old's life unfold on their TV screens. She's tremendous when she soars, and she's tremendous when she speaks. Every day until today, she's showed us that she *can.* Today, she told us that she can't, and I respect her all the more.
 
It remains to be seen whether she will compete in her remaining FIVE events this Olympics. She's due up for the all-around competition in two days, and for all four event finals in the days after that. She is allowed to compete, and she is allowed to withdraw. Or she can choose some of each.
 
I hope she feels respected, empowered, admired, and love. I hope she feels confident in her gymnastics and in her decision-making. I hope she leaves here with heaps of perspective and no regrets. And I hope she forever cherishes what that silver medal today means for her, her teammates, the gymnastics community, and anybody who has EVER felt that the external pressure to "carry on" is too great to survive.
 
GO TEAM USA! Olympic Silver Medalists!!!!

Thank you for this explanation. I strongly believe that Simone does NOT owe us a reason or an explanation, but this gives me an understanding that I did not have. I am so glad that she had the self awareness to pull out. I’m so glad she did not end up with a severe injury.

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7 minutes ago, TABmom said:

Thank you for this explanation. I strongly believe that Simone does NOT owe us a reason or an explanation, but this gives me an understanding that I did not have. I am so glad that she had the self awareness to pull out. I’m so glad she did not end up with a severe injury.

yes

 

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I'm also reading about the Twisties 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300368076/tokyo-olympics-simone-biles-has-the-terrifying-twisties-nzbased-former-us-gymnastics-champion-says

I’d like to make it comprehensible: Simone didn’t withdraw due solely to an injury. She was assaulted by a sudden case of the “twisties”, a phenomenon peculiar to gymnasts

It can present itself in various ways, but the two most common are a loss of air sense while you are in the middle of a skill – a sensation not unlike vertigo – or the impulse to twist in the middle of a flipping skill.......

As some of you may know, I’m a former gymnast; a United States national titleholder, as a matter of fact.

I also suffered from the twisties, one time landing on the back of my neck during a multiple flipping skill as a result. That experience directly and adversely impacted the rest of my career. I was constantly petrified, constantly doubting myself.

Doubt is the leading cause of injury in gymnastics and I have a dozen surgical scars to show for mine.

------

This just popped up with a lot more detail

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300368709/tokyo-olympics-when-simone-biles-said-she-got-the-twisties-gymnasts-immediately-understood

Edited by lewelma
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I am hoping that maybe all the folks cheering Simone will recognize that forcing kids to practice and compete sick or expecting them to be back 100% after an injury or threatening adolescents who show emotions or stress even OFF the mat is not a good thing. I am seeing a lot of people posting who I kind of want to shake, because I have seen them show so much less grace to kids, including mine. 

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I highly recommend watching Athlete A on Netflix. It's shocking. I liked how the documentary focused on more than just the Larry Nassar abuse charges. It discussed how the culture created an environment where someone like Nassar could take advantage. 

I saw a good post on FB. Someone wrote that they showed the Keri Shrug vault tape to their kids. The kids were appalled and it made the parent reconsider what we thought was amazing back in 1996. 

Rachael Denhollander says that the DOJ is about to release a report on how the FBI covered up the abuse allegations in US gymnastics. 

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The responses to this have been fascinating. Every jerk guy Twitter-lebrity has had a terrible take on this. You sometimes see more diversity of opinions like Cernovich taking up #FreeBritney. But they are *all* being jerks about Simone Biles. 

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The head coach at our gym in Hawaii refused to coach elites after his daughter's experience. At the time DD was competing, one of the team's gymnasts was traveling to/from the Ranch in TX (with a different coach) to train with the national team/Karolyi's. That was 7 years ago? I've always wondered if she was abused too.

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

I'm also reading about the Twisties 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300368076/tokyo-olympics-simone-biles-has-the-terrifying-twisties-nzbased-former-us-gymnastics-champion-says

I’d like to make it comprehensible: Simone didn’t withdraw due solely to an injury. She was assaulted by a sudden case of the “twisties”, a phenomenon peculiar to gymnasts

It can present itself in various ways, but the two most common are a loss of air sense while you are in the middle of a skill – a sensation not unlike vertigo – or the impulse to twist in the middle of a flipping skill.......

As some of you may know, I’m a former gymnast; a United States national titleholder, as a matter of fact.

I also suffered from the twisties, one time landing on the back of my neck during a multiple flipping skill as a result. That experience directly and adversely impacted the rest of my career. I was constantly petrified, constantly doubting myself.

Doubt is the leading cause of injury in gymnastics and I have a dozen surgical scars to show for mine.

------

This just popped up with a lot more detail

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300368709/tokyo-olympics-when-simone-biles-said-she-got-the-twisties-gymnasts-immediately-understood

I coached for 8 years and the twisties are the scariest and hardest thing I ever watched a gymnast have to work through. Imagine you have driven a car just fine for your whole adult life. Then one day, for no reason, your brain tells your foot to step on the gas instead of the brake. And suddenly every time you go to brake, you accidentally hit the gas and have no idea how to stop it. That's my current best analogy for non flipping/twisting people. One of the gymnasts I worked with got it bad - she had been doing "just" a double twisting backflip for more than a year and, out of the blue, in practice one day, she got lost in the air and from then on, every time she did anything backwards, she started to involuntarily twist. It took months and we had to back up all the way to a backward roll - preschool style - to find a skill her body didn't try to twist. As soon as I heard Simone had the twisties, it took me right back to that time and how agonizing it was for the gymnast I worked with. I can't fathom a gymnast getting it at the Olympics. She is an amazing human. 

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48 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

The head coach at our gym in Hawaii refused to coach elites after his daughter's experience. At the time DD was competing, one of the team's gymnasts was traveling to/from the Ranch in TX (with a different coach) to train with the national team/Karolyi's. That was 7 years ago? I've always wondered if she was abused too.

They were all abused in some way. Elite gymnasts in this country were shamed for eating the food that would give them energy to practice and compete (and you know - live). They were terrified to say if they were hurting or struggling because there was always another gymnast waiting in the wings to take their spot. If one good thing has come out of the light being shone on the disaster that is USAG, it's that gymnasts are able to talk to some coaches when they are unwell or injured. 4 years ago, there would be no way Simone would have been allowed to even consider advocating for her health like she did this week. Marta wouldn't have let it happen. 

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I think we (at least in the US) glorify not giving up no matter what too much. She does not feel comfortable doing her routines is enough justification to stop. The routines she would have done in the final include ridiculous moves. All the gymnasts are doing moves that are super hard and if they slip up can render them physically hurt the rest of their lives. Not just unable to do crazy gymnastic things but physical impairment that would affect normal everyday lives. A gold medal is not worth that.  

It would do us good to tell people to quit before they wreck themselves for life mentally or physically. 

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39 minutes ago, Clarita said:

 

It would do us good to tell people to quit before they wreck themselves for life mentally or physically. 

Yes! Football is another sport with this, and I heard a pro wrestling guy (the kind with the silly storylines - that part is fake but gravity is real, and they really hurt themselves often) talking about how it was good that things like Cameo exist as alternate revenue streams so that maybe the younger guys won't stay in so long, or work to the point of breaking themselves. 

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2 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I highly recommend watching Athlete A on Netflix. It's shocking. I liked how the documentary focused on more than just the Larry Nassar abuse charges. It discussed how the culture created an environment where someone like Nassar could take advantage. 

I saw a good post on FB. Someone wrote that they showed the Keri Shrug vault tape to their kids. The kids were appalled and it made the parent reconsider what we thought was amazing back in 1996. 

Rachael Denhollander says that the DOJ is about to release a report on how the FBI covered up the abuse allegations in US gymnastics. 

I showed my kids the Kerri Strug video and they were shocked. My daughter was horrified and wondered why Kerri just didn’t say no. I remember it being such a defining moment full of Olympic spirit, but they viewed it completely differently.  Some medal isn’t worth permanent or even temporary injury.  Attitudes have shifted so much even in just a generation and it’s for so much the better.  It’s okay to protect your physical and mental health, even if it costs an Olympic medal.

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17 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I showed my kids the Kerri Strug video and they were shocked. My daughter was horrified and wondered why Kerri just didn’t say no. I remember it being such a defining moment full of Olympic spirit, but they viewed it completely differently.  Some medal isn’t worth permanent or even temporary injury.  Attitudes have shifted so much even in just a generation and it’s for so much the better.  It’s okay to protect your physical and mental health, even if it costs an Olympic medal.

And the worst part about that "iconic" moment is that the US didn't need her vault in order to win gold. They had already secured the win with the scores that had already been calculated. Bela was just an evil egomaniac who wanted his gymnast to bend to his will.

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I rewatched the Keri Shrug video because I had forgotten that. That was pre-kids for me. I know I have a different take on it now that I have my own young adults.

I'm so proud of Simone and of the example she's showing 

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I saw where Dominque Moceanu spoke in support of Simone Biles and shared a video of her fall on a beam. It's horrifying. I'm sure I watched it live as a teenager myself and didn't think much, but as a parent, it's horrifying. She was 14, sent up already injured, hit her head hard, and is clearly disoriented as she finishes and walks away. She doesn't cry. She's not comforted. Nobody came to see if she had a concussion...and then she went back out? I'm glad times have changed. 

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I remember watching the Shrug vault and hearing just a snippet of what Bela said to her. It was basically him ordering her to go do it. They were showing something else and it was just a brief clip in passing, but I remembered that when he told the media how he was encouraging her to do it and telling him he had faith in her. Nope, I remember the look on her face as she looked at him for instruction and he gestured to her and yelled at her with an angry look to go do it in no uncertain terms. Made me sick. It was all a big show and everyone played along with the narrative, including the media who knew better because they had it on tape.

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I am reading about the tennis players playing starting at 11 am with heat indexes near 100°F even though they requested to play in the evening. SMH.

Obviously the tennis players' health doesn't matter. They are changing the start times to 3 pm tomorrow. Too little, too late?

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

I am reading about the tennis players playing starting at 11 am with heat indexes near 100°F even though they requested to play in the evening. SMH.

Obviously the tennis players' health doesn't matter. They are changing the start times to 3 pm tomorrow. Too little, too late?

I would think 11 am would be better than 3 pm. Here in south central Texas, 2 or 3 pm would be the hottest part of the day. I hope it's different in Japan!

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1 hour ago, wilrunner said:

I would think 11 am would be better than 3 pm. Here in south central Texas, 2 or 3 pm would be the hottest part of the day. I hope it's different in Japan!

Still hot, but the sun isn't directly overhead anymore and less of the players have to play in the worst of the heat. Players who start first are screwed but the next guys have it better & the guys after that might even be able to play in the shadows. 

Obviously, 3 pm isn't the evening hours they asked for. So, too little accommodation. And, it doesn't help the athletes who have already dropped out due to heat stroke. Too late.

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I saw a tweet from Simone saying that the support she's gotten from this has helped her realize she is more than just her accomplishments...something she never really believed before. 

Damn, that broke my heart. That lovely young lady is certainly more than any sport or medal. 

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8 hours ago, RootAnn said:

I am reading about the tennis players playing starting at 11 am with heat indexes near 100°F even though they requested to play in the evening. SMH.

Obviously the tennis players' health doesn't matter. They are changing the start times to 3 pm tomorrow. Too little, too late?

Similar to the beach volleyball players needing the sand watered down so it didn't burn them.....but then also still having to play in tropical storm rains, when other sports were cancelled that day.  And just, you know, the whole concept that Japan lied about the expected weather....and the Olympic Committee people didn't bother to verify/check that out themselves, and awarded the bid anyway. 

I cannot imagine any of the athletes playing in any of these conditions.

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25 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

I saw a tweet from Simone saying that the support she's gotten from this has helped her realize she is more than just her accomplishments...something she never really believed before. 

Damn, that broke my heart. That lovely young lady is certainly more than any sport or medal. 

I saw that too and had the same reaction.  That is really sad.  What were/are her parents and coaches telling her?  Was there any sort of support for her? Is there support for all the athletes?    I mean I think a lot of her stress was probably from the last 19 months and it contributes a lot to her issues.  But I would imagine that Nasser has affected her too.  Besides anything that in her personal life.  

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16 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I saw that too and had the same reaction.  That is really sad.  What were/are her parents and coaches telling her?  Was there any sort of support for her? Is there support for all the athletes?    I mean I think a lot of her stress was probably from the last 19 months and it contributes a lot to her issues.  But I would imagine that Nasser has affected her too.  Besides anything that in her personal life.  

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that was internal pressure. Having known a few perfectionistic, highly driven kids, you can tell them they are more than their accomplishments until you are blue in the face and it doesn't really register because their internal narrative is so fierce. Peace and acceptance for flaws might come with age and experience, but it's a tough road getting there.

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9 minutes ago, livetoread said:

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that was internal pressure. Having known a few perfectionistic, highly driven kids, you can tell them they are more than their accomplishments until you are blue in the face and it doesn't really register because their internal narrative is so fierce. Peace and acceptance for flaws might come with age and experience, but it's a tough road getting there.

Especially when they are really good at what they do....

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7 hours ago, wilrunner said:

I would think 11 am would be better than 3 pm. Here in south central Texas, 2 or 3 pm would be the hottest part of the day. I hope it's different in Japan!

It means that the sun is less overhead the longer then match goes on, rather than the opposite. Waiting until 4 pm or 5 pm would have been better, of course, but some of these players can make a match last a very long time...

There have been a lot of weird problems with the implementation of this particular Games, and I'm worried it's going to be worse for the Paralympics.

Simone's withdrawal from the gymnastics was one she handled very well. She could have stayed in (and risked injuring herself), but decided to do what was right for her health (and, in the case of the team event, what was right for her team's best chances of a medal given the circumstances). She could probably have cited the ankle and avoided the complainers, but she decided to tell the whole truth. That's brave of her, and deserves our respect.

That Simone didn't feel she was more than her accomplishments before makes sense given she's a perfectionist - especially given her earlier experiences of Nasser and co. refusing to see the athletes under their care as people.

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57 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

I saw that too and had the same reaction.  That is really sad.  What were/are her parents and coaches telling her?  Was there any sort of support for her? Is there support for all the athletes?    I mean I think a lot of her stress was probably from the last 19 months and it contributes a lot to her issues.  But I would imagine that Nasser has affected her too.  Besides anything that in her personal life.  

From everything I've read, she has really supportive parents and coaches. Her original coach was one of the few to ever stand up to the Karolyis and her current coaches also seem amazing. Jordan Chiles moved to Simone's current gym for a more supportive environment. Simone and her family own the gym and chose the coaches they felt comfortable with. 

I think a lot of the pressure is internal, but also, for years, USAG has been able to choose teams knowing that they'll win because of Simone's excellence. If another team member made a mistake, it was "ok because Simone will pull us through". That is immense pressure - knowing that everyone else completely depends on you to be amazing. That was always the cushion between the US and the next highest ranked teams. Without Simone's insane scores, the US is definitely in the mix, but not a clear cut favorite. And the media hasn't done her any favors. Even today, one of the headlines I saw was: "Simone Biles and the US gymnastics team cheer on the All Around competitors." 

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Having a kid who has a negative inner voice despite being very talented & amazing externally, I can vouch for how we can pump her up until we are blue in the face but she doesn't believe us. So, Simone might have very encouraging coaches & parents & still not believe in her worth as an individual. 

I hope Simone is mostly focusing on the love coming her way & ignoring Twitter & the MSM. Instagram peeps seem to love her from what I can see.

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2 hours ago, livetoread said:

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that was internal pressure. Having known a few perfectionistic, highly driven kids, you can tell them they are more than their accomplishments until you are blue in the face and it doesn't really register because their internal narrative is so fierce. Peace and acceptance for flaws might come with age and experience, but it's a tough road getting there.

On top of being a highly driven perfectionist, former foster kids and SA survivors are often full of self doubt about their worth/value.  As are many people with ADHD, which I had seen that she’d been diagnosed with.  She has a perfect storm of contributing factors for severe anxiety and depression.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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14 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

On top of being a highly driven perfectionist, former foster kids and SA survivors are often full of self doubt about their worth/value.  As are many people with ADHD, which I had seen that she’d been diagnosed with.  She has a perfect storm of contributing factors for severe anxiety and depression.  

Good points.  I didn't know about the ADHD.  I think there are probably so many factors into this.  

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2 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

On top of being a highly driven perfectionist, former foster kids and SA survivors are often full of self doubt about their worth/value.  As are many people with ADHD, which I had seen that she’d been diagnosed with.  She has a perfect storm of contributing factors for severe anxiety and depression.  

One of my sons mentioned that he'd heard that Japan was not going to let athletes bring Ritalin, etc., into the country with them because those meds are banned in Japan. Does anyone know if this is true? A quick google search (I really have to work today--no time for a deep dive here) says that it is true generally but that the restriction may have been lifted for the Olympics. Simone is on one of the ADD meds or at least "was" five years ago; if she were forced to go off of it for the Olympics, it would seem like that could have contributed.

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I've been wondering why we still do the Olympics like this. Why is it based on country? It seems silly to me, like a cold war thing we haven't stopped yet. 

Why not have the best athletes in the world compete each other and drop all of this country stuff? 

I think this is all kind of strange anyway given that we've gotten rid of the fantasy of "amateur" athletes. Think of Jim Thorpe who was robbed of his medals because he played professionally. Or how athletes behind the Iron Curtain were "amateurs" but the governments paid for all of their training, etc? 

But it's left us with a weird system, IMHO. 

 

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57 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I've been wondering why we still do the Olympics like this. Why is it based on country? It seems silly to me, like a cold war thing we haven't stopped yet. 

Why not have the best athletes in the world compete each other and drop all of this country stuff? 

I think this is all kind of strange anyway given that we've gotten rid of the fantasy of "amateur" athletes. Think of Jim Thorpe who was robbed of his medals because he played professionally. Or how athletes behind the Iron Curtain were "amateurs" but the governments paid for all of their training, etc? 

But it's left us with a weird system, IMHO. 

 

I agree.  I also wonder why we have persisted in this making all new mega-venues and housing in a new country every four years.  I know it was originally to spread out the 'wealth', but the last # of Olympics have been, if anything, a net loss for the host country, and the venues have become so mega-large that they largely go empty and decay after the Olympics are over.  It would be so much better to find some neutral ground (I know, almost impossible, but that doesn't make it not worth considering) - actually two, one summer, one winter - to host consistently.  The waste of resources is becoming truly appalling...

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1 hour ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I've been wondering why we still do the Olympics like this. Why is it based on country? It seems silly to me, like a cold war thing we haven't stopped yet. 

Why not have the best athletes in the world compete each other and drop all of this country stuff? 

I think this is all kind of strange anyway given that we've gotten rid of the fantasy of "amateur" athletes. Think of Jim Thorpe who was robbed of his medals because he played professionally. Or how athletes behind the Iron Curtain were "amateurs" but the governments paid for all of their training, etc? 

But it's left us with a weird system, IMHO. 

 

Now that I just posted "I agree" with that, I can also think of a downside.  Having it based on country gives the big, rich countries (and the people chosen to represent them) a huge advantage.  If each country didn't have a limit on how many people they could send, the US, Russia, and China would take up practically all the available slots.  We could have sent twice or more the gymnasts that would have qualified (and I'm sure the Russians could have too), and people from countries with less resources wouldn't end up even qualifying to go.  No Jamaican bobsled team, lol.

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10 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I agree.  I also wonder why we have persisted in this making all new mega-venues and housing in a new country every four years.  I know it was originally to spread out the 'wealth', but the last # of Olympics have been, if anything, a net loss for the host country, and the venues have become so mega-large that they largely go empty and decay after the Olympics are over.  It would be so much better to find some neutral ground (I know, almost impossible, but that doesn't make it not worth considering) - actually two, one summer, one winter - to host consistently.  The waste of resources is becoming truly appalling...

Heck, have one venue on each continent (well, not Antarctica, lol). 

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33 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Now that I just posted "I agree" with that, I can also think of a downside.  Having it based on country gives the big, rich countries (and the people chosen to represent them) a huge advantage.  If each country didn't have a limit on how many people they could send, the US, Russia, and China would take up practically all the available slots.  We could have sent twice or more the gymnasts that would have qualified (and I'm sure the Russians could have too), and people from countries with less resources wouldn't end up even qualifying to go.  No Jamaican bobsled team, lol.

This reminds me of a big international gymnastics meet a couple of years that the U.S. did not enter as a team, but it sent gymnasts who were all on the national team. One particular gym in Texas, Texas Dreams I think, would have won if it had been a country. A single American gym could have beaten all of the other participating countries, who were not slouches in international gymnastics.

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7 hours ago, livetoread said:

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that was internal pressure. Having known a few perfectionistic, highly driven kids, you can tell them they are more than their accomplishments until you are blue in the face and it doesn't really register because their internal narrative is so fierce. Peace and acceptance for flaws might come with age and experience, but it's a tough road getting there.

Gymnasts tend to be highly driven athletes anyway and the sport itself and the way it's scored demands perfection. When DD started competing, I was surprised at some of the ways they could lose points. I think Simone made a good decision. Doing gymnastics when you're not there mentally is a recipe for disaster.

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I just realized that Sunisa Lee, who won the gold in women’s all-around, trains at the gym where my kids took gymnastics.  We were only in the rec program, and dropped gymnastics when they started leveling up in dance, but she’s only 4 years older than my oldest so we probably were there at the same time!  😲 

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3 minutes ago, Danae said:

I just realized that Sunisa Lee, who won the gold in women’s all-around, trains at the gym where my kids took gymnastics.  We were only in the rec program, and dropped gymnastics when they started leveling up in dance, but she’s only 4 years older than my oldest so we probably were there at the same time!  😲 

Cool! Katie Ledecky’s summer swim team was my former swim team .( ok. Nothing to do with Simone Biles and way more than four years difference but I couldn’t resist...lol)

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40 minutes ago, Danae said:

I just realized that Sunisa Lee, who won the gold in women’s all-around, trains at the gym where my kids took gymnastics.  We were only in the rec program, and dropped gymnastics when they started leveling up in dance, but she’s only 4 years older than my oldest so we probably were there at the same time!  😲 

My kids did some rec classes at that gym too!  She's a year older than my daughter.  

I could not be more excited for her and our Hmong Community! Such an AMAZING story and wonderful family.  😍  This has had me in tears and laughter all day! 

ETA here is a little of her story
https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/29/sport/suni-lee-gymnast-hmong-community/index.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/olympics/suni-lee-won-gold-her-hmong-community-her-family-herself-n1275403

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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