WAG humble and modest gymnasts

  • Thread starter Deleted member 26744
  • Start date
D

Deleted member 26744

Guest
I hope this doesn't come off as terribly judgmental and I don't know what it's like in other countries these days but one thing that has been turning me off to US gymnastics lately is a lack of modesty (I'm not sure if that's the right word) in the gymnasts. I don't like things like all the selfies. When I watch some documentaries it looks like they live in mansions (Simone's house, Nastia's house). The way Simone's mother was talking about how her bronze medal was defective and needed polishing was just kind of dumb to me. I don't like to admit going to twitter at all, but I did look at Sunsia's twitter after the Simone drama and I saw the picture of herself she uses as her icon and the tweet about "doing this for ourselves" and how now she's got some certain thousand number of followers etc and it all just turns me off. Where are the humble, modest athletes? Where are the Beth Tweddle's and Oksana Chusovitina's?
 

Carabistouille

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Judge
Jan 22, 2019
122
Country
France
I honestly don't know about the things you are referencing about Sunisa and Simone. I do feel the same sometimes, although there might be some cultural difference going on because I am not American.

I think the harsh truth is that gymnastics, especially in the US, is a very expensive sport, so gymnasts tend to come from very wealthy families, and that some gymnasts are still very young. In my experience, very rich, priviledged kids can be a little arrogant and self-centered. Some grow out of it, some don't (and some never were arrogant to begin with).

Sunisa tweeting / bragging about her number of followers is just... a normal reaction for a 16 y.o. girl. I wouldn't do it as an adult, but well, she isn't an adult and she got into the spotlight all of the sudden, so I kind of get it.

As long as there is nothing really offensive going on, I kind of brush it off as normal (priviledged) teenager behavior.
 

Eleven sol

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 23, 2015
103
Country
USA
I believe that the comment about the bronze medal was a joke/sarcasm. Simone has been saying that reporters discounted her bronze medal and she is proud of it and it annoys her she is not recognized for it.

I believe the “doing it for ourselves” is referring to overcoming the abuse/trauma of the past and loving gymnastics again “for themselves” rather than doing gymnastics out of fear.

In general to do gymnastics in the USA you have to have means, although there are some scholarships. There’s a lot of pay to play in general in the USA. We lose a lot of talent in many sports that way unfortunately. I believe Suni actually had to fundraise.

And it’s also a bit of the culture here too, I think loud and proud, go big or go home. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why the big tricks are valued here over artistry.

And I’m American.
 
  • Like
Reactions: esor

Lucia

Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Fan
Jun 6, 2019
67
Country
USA
I hear what you are saying, but I also think it's more representative of the selfie/social media culture than it is American gymnastics culture. I work with youth and this is what I see across the board. I'm not young, and our parenting approach is quite low tech, so it does stand out to me...but these girls are also not any different than many other non-gymnasts their age. I have noticed some gymnasts with much more humble/lower profile social media presence such as Grace McCallum, and this may represent a strategic decision on behalf of her family, we just don't know. I know Simone is not a teenager, but I suspect I may have handled social media different myself in my 20's vs my 40's.
 
D

Deleted member 26744

Guest
Well I will try not to take anything written on the internet or in a documentary too much in one way. I will also try to remember all the embarrassing stupid stuff I did as a teenager and not hold it against them, but at the same time I appreciate the maturity of certain gymnasts. Perhaps social media is to blame for the teenage "look at me/us" stuff. Do you think the gymnasts of the 1992/96 team would have been this way if twitter and Facebook were around? Maybe it is also how American culture has changed over the years.
 

amiandjim

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Apr 18, 2015
1,652
44
Country
USA
Based on episodes of Golden, Suni’s family definitely is not well off, and I found them to be very nice and down to earth. Simone’s adoptive parents were quite well-off when they adopted her and her sister and obviously, she is a multi-millionaire. That shouldn’t be held against her.
 

Madden3

Active Member
Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
798
48
Country
USA
I agree with others that your complaint is less about gymnastics than about social media culture, which is tailor made to undermine both once commonly held social values and common sense. (As well as causing or contributing to many other more serious issues including mental health concerns.) Precious few people are interesting or articulate enough to post endlessly about themselves without occasionally sounding big-headed and petty. Of course being active on social media also leads to being bullied and trolled and personally attacked. Just remember that good or bad, twitter, facebook etc. is not real life. You cannot know someone from what they post (or don't post) on social media. As a parent I greatly restrict social media participation for my teens but there is not much you an do once they turn 18 and purchase their own phone, except hope your advice sticks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TumbleTimes4

Flippin'A

Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 4, 2017
299
33
Country
USA
These poor young women can't live their lives without people tearing them apart. I teach undergrads. This is the exact same behavior as a huge number of young adults in the US, it's just that you're seeing it displayed more publicly for them because they happen to be extraordinary at a sport you follow. Simone is a famous professional athlete, of course she lives in a mansion.

And yes, I believe that the vast majority of gymnasts from previous decades would have behaved exactly the same if they had grown up in the same environment. In fact, many of them are now very active on social media even as adults. We live in a world where Khorkina exists but somehow it's Sunisa Lee being full of herself that people are complaining about.
 

Carabistouille

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Judge
Jan 22, 2019
122
Country
France
I’m also tired of these judgmental posts.
I think one of the issue on this site is that some of us are gymnasts, some of us are parents and some of us are fans (including, I believe, Little Gardener).

I might not be ealthy, but criticising athletes performance (not always rationally), having irrational favourites and wanting them to win, not liking athletes for absolutely no reason, disecting athletes' SM posts, looking into their personal life... is part of what sport fandom is.
I know I have said mean stupid things about my local soccer or rugby team (or, more likely, their opponents). It wasn't nice, it certainly wasn't thoughtful, but it's also part of sport culture.

Obviously, those here who are parents or coaches without being hardcore fans don't get it and find it kinda unhealthy (which it is, but then so is all the fuss around the superball or soccer worlds championship).
We simply don't have the same perspective on gymnastics.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner
Jan 4, 2008
3,621
Country
Australia
In my experience, most gymnasts tend to be very humble. Gymnastics is not like football, the kids aren’t performing to stadiums full of cheering fans, they aren’t walking around the halls of their schools wearing their team jerseys.

Gymnasts spent countless hours in their own gyms, dedicating so much of their free time to the sport. They compete to an audience often consisting of no more than a few parents and so on.

I can understand the need to turn to social media, a lot of the time that is their only way to share what they are doing. For the vast majority no one but their closest family and friends would ever see them compete live.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,341
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
Trash talk, showmanship, and overt confidence have always been the norm in men's sports. Women (especially brown ones), however, have traditionally been culturally discouraged from being outwardly confident like that.

Imo, when you're best in the world, you're allowed to flaunt it.
 

Carabistouille

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Judge
Jan 22, 2019
122
Country
France
Trash talk, showmanship, and overt confidence have always been the norm in men's sports. Women (especially brown ones), however, have traditionally been culturally discouraged from being outwardly confident like that.
It's not really the place for this debate, but the fact that men have been doing it / are doing it does not mean it's right. There is no reason why men's attitude should be considered the default and that women should align on it. In fact there is evidence that the world would be a better place if men tended to align more with female behavior (extremely low violent crimes statistics, less reckless driving, less likely to interupt in a conversation... The list goes on and on.)

However, I agree that I have not seen anything out of line during the women competition. I did not watch the men.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
4,341
Baltimore, MD
Country
USA
It's not really the place for this debate, but the fact that men have been doing it / are doing it does not mean it's right. There is no reason why men's attitude should be considered the default and that women should align on it. In fact there is evidence that the world would be a better place if men tended to align more with female behavior (extremely low violent crimes statistics, less reckless driving, less likely to interupt in a conversation... The list goes on and on.)

However, I agree that I have not seen anything out of line during the women competition. I did not watch the men.

Fair point.

I think there is a balance to be struck. There's nothing wrong with being outwardly confident, and while there is an upper-limit, I don't think anything I've seen from the US women has reached that limit.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
6,421
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Do you think the gymnasts of the 1992/96 team would have been this way if twitter and Facebook were around?
Absolutely... the world has just changed... that's all. I know lots of people that were 16 during that time period that use social media just like current 16 year olds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Geoffrey Taucer
D

Deleted member 26744

Guest
Another point as well is that I think men brag about themselves and it is expected. It’s important to look at the double standard.
Based on episodes of Golden, Suni’s family definitely is not well off, and I found them to be very nice and down to earth. Simone’s adoptive parents were quite well-off when they adopted her and her sister and obviously, she is a multi-millionaire. That shouldn’t be held against her.

I think one of the issue on this site is that some of us are gymnasts, some of us are parents and some of us are fans (including, I believe, Little Gardener).

I might not be ealthy, but criticising athletes performance (not always rationally), having irrational favourites and wanting them to win, not liking athletes for absolutely no reason, disecting athletes' SM posts, looking into their personal life... is part of what sport fandom is.
I know I have said mean stupid things about my local soccer or rugby team (or, more likely, their opponents). It wasn't nice, it certainly wasn't thoughtful, but it's also part of sport culture.

Obviously, those here who are parents or coaches without being hardcore fans don't get it and find it kinda unhealthy (which it is, but then so is all the fuss around the superball or soccer worlds championship).
We simply don't have the same perspective on gymnastics.

This isn't not about not liking certain athletes for no reason, trash talking them, looking into their personal lives, etc. Many gymnasts use social media like twitter to reach out to fans and the world. I will say I mistakenly directed it towards many of our gymnasts when it's really just our country as a whole. I just don't like the selfie culture in America. I do not see why this is so terrible? I don't know if it exists in other countries as well which is why I directed it towards the country I live in, because I know what it's like here.

What I didn't like about Sunsia's post about "doing it for ourselves" is that this to me is not the Olympic spirit. I realize she's worked her entire life for this, and no I don't think she owes our country a gold medal but part of the Olympics is countries coming together peacefully and enjoying a competition between the best in the world. Whether it's gymnastics or track or swimming something I really dislike is when athletes or the people in charge of choosing them act like all their time didn't pay off, or the opposite when they win and act like everything has paid off because there is more to the Olympics than this. (and even if it's not the olympics, neither is true. There is a lot learned in gymnastics training whether you win or not) I think I was reading too much into her post though.

I am also not as big a fan of the US gymnastics because it seems like we pay too much attention to winning medals with difficulty and forgetting form and artistry. That doesn't mean I don't have respect for how difficult what they do is, or how hard they train.

I also don't hold it against anybody for being well off. This had nothing to do with Sunsia. I have no idea what her background is. This was more what I had seen with the Simone vs Herself. I do not hold this against Simone, and it could just be the way they portrayed her. They showed her living in this big fancy house acting like her life might be over if the Olympics didn't happen and that left me with a bad feeling. She has a lot to be grateful for and so much to live for other than gymnastics. I do not like the attitude in sports that winning and going to the Olympics are everything. I find that depressing.

I'm sorry if my thoughts are all over the place.
 

MuggleMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
613
Virginia
Country
USA
I think she said we are"doing it for ourselves" because of the horrible treatment in the media and social media about how Simone "owed" it to people to compete and that Simone was being "winey and weak" etc. I am glad they did it for themselves because I think the USAs lack of support and sometimes downright cruel comments would make me (if i was competing) not want to do it for my country. That being said she also dedicated her AA Medal to her family and coaches saying after all they sacrificed and did they deserve that medal as much as she did if not more. I think if you look at her media precence as a whole you will find a pretty humble athlete you just happened to take two of the less humble posts she had and said shes not very humble. If you pick and choose posts like that its easy to paint anyone in a negative light.
 
D

Deleted member 26744

Guest
I will try not to take them too seriously, but I saw more than two posts which made me feel like I didn't like our selfie culture. =/.