WAG Impressed with what happened at the Olympics

B&M's mom

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There has been a lot of discussion about how awful USAG is but today I saw the potential start of a new philosophy. There was no pressure put on Simone to continue to compete when clearly she was not up to it. They allowed her to step away from competition but stay to cheer on her teammates. There was no attempt to pressure to her to compete for the team, country or glory. Rather, they allowed her to do what was in her best interest. The coaches knew that without her the team's medal chances were diminished but the speed of the decision to allow her to step away was remarkable.

I'm not suggesting that this one incident fixes everything but it does seem like a step in the right direction. Hopefully those tiny steps will continue.
 

kecks

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Mar 20, 2009
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In my opinion this is so very true and on the point.

Kerri Strug and her famous vault on a severly injured foot comes to mind. Perhaps what happened today can somehow change a little bit what we expect from an athlete in distress:

Not powering through whatever happens because someone else taught you from a very young age that obedience is a virtue and pain has to be ignored even if it means injuring yourself further but speaking up for yourself and your health and being listened to.
 

PreciousJ

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In my opinion this is so very true and on the point.

Kerri Strug and her famous vault on a severly injured foot comes to mind. Perhaps what happened today can somehow change a little bit what we expect from an athlete in distress:

Not powering through whatever happens because someone else taught you from a very young age that obedience is a virtue and pain has to be ignored even if it means injuring yourself further but speaking up for yourself and your health and being listened to.
I was just typing about the contrast between today's events and Kerri Strugg! Beat me to it, but your words are on point.
 

Really

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I was just typing about the contrast between today's events and Kerri Strugg! Beat me to it, but your words are on point.
Are you and kecks suggesting that USAG pressured Kerri Strug to vault on her sprained ankle? Kerri Strug has said she made her own decision to do the vault.
 

kecks

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Your personal decisions especially that of athletes who have not even reached the voting age usually reflect not just your personal preferences but also the culture you were socialized in. I imagine no Karolyi gymnast ever was socialized to speak up for themselves or even think about doing anything else but ignore pain till you literaly drop.

This is in my opinion exactly this culture change thing I was talking of.
 

MILgymFAM

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Are you and kecks suggesting that USAG pressured Kerri Strug to vault on her sprained ankle? Kerri Strug has said she made her own decision to do the vault.
I’m sure she feels like she made her own decision, but the culture that she came up in really didn’t prioritize personal health and safety over the team. We know where we grow.
 

PreciousJ

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Are you and kecks suggesting that USAG pressured Kerri Strug to vault on her sprained ankle? Kerri Strug has said she made her own decision to do the vault.
I recall reading that, but I can't help but think that pressure ans/or fear of retribution (from the coaches/USAG/etc.) may have also been a factor. Definitely an equally high pressure situation. Back then, not vaulting probably wasn't even an option she could entertain.
 

gym_dad32608

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I think its great Simone was able and felt empowered enough to step away for her own good. I do think it is a sign of culture change and empowerment. I do also support this with some fear perhaps. Sometimes the pendulum swings too far the other way. Simone herself even alluded to this during one of her pre-olympic interviews. There has to be a healthy balance of discipline, structure to create olympic medal athletes with a supportive empowerment culture, go too far one way and we lose sight of the medal goals, go too far the other way and you have an unhealthy and unsafe environment. I still think USAG is figuring it out, but this is a positive thing.
 

QuietColours

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It takes so much strength and courage to do an honest assessment of yourself and say "Something is wrong. My competing will make things worse, and I need to get out of your way" and "I need to stop before I get seriously hurt."
The easy thing is to keep going and crash and burn or get hurt. It's so much harder to look at the situation you're deeply involved in objectively and choose to step back, knowing that it's the right decision but that the backlash will be terrible and choosing to face that head on.
 

JBS

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The coaches knew that without her the team's medal chances were diminished but the speed of the decision to allow her to step away was remarkable.

Yep... sport is just sport... good to see...

 
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Aussie_coach

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Are you and kecks suggesting that USAG pressured Kerri Strug to vault on her sprained ankle? Kerri Strug has said she made her own decision to do the vault.
And when Kerri did what she did, she was touted as a hero. This implanting the idea for several generations to come that this is what “champions” do. Making it acceptable for coaches to pressure for it, as everyone thought it was so wonderful.
 

Pineapple_Lump

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And when Kerri did what she did, she was touted as a hero. This implanting the idea for several generations to come that this is what “champions” do. Making it acceptable for coaches to pressure for it, as everyone thought it was so wonderful.

Thank you. Also one key fact of that situation is often missed, because it doesn't fit the hero narrative - Moceanu's vault score was enough. Kerri didn't need to be a hero.
 

txgymfan

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Are you and kecks suggesting that USAG pressured Kerri Strug to vault on her sprained ankle? Kerri Strug has said she made her own decision to do the vault.

Kerri and the others were trained not to question authority, especially Bella and Marta. When he told her “ You can do it”, it was a command not a question. I remember thinking it at the time but the overwhelming narrative was that the vault was heroic and that she saved the Olympics.
 

Flippin'A

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I remember being a gymnast in the late 90s/early 2000s and Kerri Strug was constantly brought up if we complained about an injury. She was the gold standard for what a good gymnast was, and since we all looked up to her we didn't even question it. It's important to note that Moceanu, had a tibial fracture during that same meet. She sat down both her vaults right before Kerri went and people saw her as a failure. A fourteen year old vaulting on a broken leg should never have happened in the first place. If Simone had forced herself to continue on and ended up crashing on another event she might have taken the US out of contention for a medal altogether.