As an athlete, I was taught never to give up. Keep working and working until eventually you get where you want to be. I think that is one of my most redeeming qualities now. I am incredibly dedicated to what I do athletically.
That is why I had such trouble with Olympic gymnast Simone Biles dropping out of the Olympics. Not only is she the best in the world at what she does, but she leads the best gymnastics team in the world.
And then after a less than stellar performance, she pulls out.
The competitor in me was furious. You made it to the biggest stage for your sport, wore your leotard with a goat on it and then when you get to the big stage, you crumble and pull out of competition. It must have been incredibly frustrating to be Biles’ teammates. They all worked that hard and then took silver because she backed out.
Then I thought about it.
First off, why do I even care? It’s gymnastics. I mock people for pretending to care about it every four years during the Olympics. So now I see all these people like Clay Travis and Turleboy pretending to care about it. They should be equally mocked for pretending to care.
The next thing is that people forget that these Olympic gymnasts have essentially had their childhoods taken away. They’ve spent what are supposed to be the fun years of their lives in a gymnastics gym working so some stuffy judge can mark them off for slightly moving a finger out of where they think it should be. Not to mention the fact that they have been almost undoubtedly sexually abused by a crooked doctor and probably verbally abused by the crazed coaches. Add that to the eating disorders that plague gymnastics and the overbearing parents that force their girls to continually practice despite wanting a day off. Is anyone shocked that the pressure of being the best in the world got to this 24 year old?
I won’t even get into the judges changing rules for Biles, because I can’t even begin to understand why. But those who know gymnastics better than me have already done that. Let’s just say she had the deck stacked against her.
I think what these people have a problem with is the media calling Biles a “hero.” I will never call someone who backs out of a major athletic event a hero. It would have been really heroic if she stuck it out and tried to perform the way she is clearly able to. That being said, I am not going to destroy the girl for backing out. I’m sure she is getting enough of that from her teammates who, I’m sure, are pissed at her.
I do have one question though. What the hell was the point of bringing alternates to the Olympics if you’re not going to use them? Wouldn’t it be better to at least have someone compete in her place? Seems a little odd to me. There should have been some kind of contingency plan in place just in case something like this happens. I’m sure that contributes to the frustration of her teammates.
All of that being said, the US still took silver, down an athlete. Which is pretty good in my opinion. They lost to the Russian Olympic Committee, which is its own set of issues. But let’s not all pretend like we really care that much about gymnastics, or the entire Olympics for that matter.