irritated with USAG and Simone crew

gymgal

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I don't know how others are feeling right now but I am just really frustrated and have been for a while with Simone and her crew. Don't get me wrong. I support Simone bowing out of team finals if she felt her mental/physical health was at risk. I certainly would not have wanted her to compete and get injured as a result of her not being 100%. I am talking about the larger scope. I feel that she should have bowed out of competition months ago. It is public knowledge that Simone has been injured and has had confidence issues for months leading up to the Olympics. She has had more difficulty with her landings and execution in general. There are interviews with her admitting that she doesn't enjoy training anymore. If this was known/seen publicly, I have no doubt that her coaches, teammates, and family had an even greater perspective on this. Why not bow out gracefully like so many before her? I just keep going back to the fact that coaches/committee would not place a significantly physically injured gymnast on team when others are available. Shouldn't that stand for the mental health aspect as well? She/they took a spot away from another deserving team member, knowing that she wasn't 100% committed to this.
 

kecks

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She earned this sport more than anybody else in the whole f***** world, she is the best gymnast ever and fights for a culture change in the sport. Today she showed she's human which is kind of exactly this culture change we all want to see: No smiling robots doing their tricks when asked but a human being with challenges and superb skills.
 

Really

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I don't know how others are feeling right now but I am just really frustrated and have been for a while with Simone and her crew. Don't get me wrong. I support Simone bowing out of team finals if she felt her mental/physical health was at risk. I certainly would not have wanted her to compete and get injured as a result of her not being 100%. I am talking about the larger scope. I feel that she should have bowed out of competition months ago. It is public knowledge that Simone has been injured and has had confidence issues for months leading up to the Olympics. She has had more difficulty with her landings and execution in general. There are interviews with her admitting that she doesn't enjoy training anymore. If this was known/seen publicly, I have no doubt that her coaches, teammates, and family had an even greater perspective on this. Why not bow out gracefully like so many before her? I just keep going back to the fact that coaches/committee would not place a significantly physically injured gymnast on team when others are available. Shouldn't that stand for the mental health aspect as well? She/they took a spot away from another deserving team member, knowing that she wasn't 100% committed to this.
I feel similarly to you. She should have withdrawn before team qualfications at the latest. And the only answer I can come up with for your question "Why not bow out gracefully like so many before her?" is... for the endorsements, sadly. The longer she could keep up appearances that she's going to be at the top of the podium at these Olympics, the more money she stood to make from endorsement deals. Anyway, if that's what happened (I don't know for a fact), that's her prerogative. Best of luck to her.
 

QuietColours

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Up until today, she was posting the top or second highest score for the US despite everything she was struggling through. We've watched her push through on the verge of breaking before--societies constantly praise athletes for doing exactly that. Today something just broke--just like someone who was competing on a stress fracture, only to have it give way completely at the exact worst time.

It's not healthy to be competing with the stress fracture in the bone or the mind, but the criticism and 'should have known to pull out sooner' only starts when the break comes before the medal, not after.
 

PreciousJ

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I get the disappointment, but maybe there was a part of her that was trying to "keep fighting" through her turmoil, until she couldn't anymore. After all, she was part of that win-at-all-costs era that USAG is now under fire for creating. Sure, the timing may not have been ideal for hopes of team gold, but I can't believe that she would purposely" keep up appearances" for $$.
 

wandrewsjr

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How about, she didn’t pull out sooner because she is the best gymnast in the history of the sport and thought she could push through and be there to help her team and country win the Olympics? She won trials. She won qualifications. She only pulled out when it became clear her continuing would not only risk her health but could actually hurt the team score.

I am clenching my teeth trying to respond to this criticism without cursing or attacking.
 

Really

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Up until today, she was posting the top or second highest score for the US despite everything she was struggling through. We've watched her push through on the verge of breaking before--societies constantly praise athletes for doing exactly that. Today something just broke--just like someone who was competing on a stress fracture, only to have it give way completely at the exact worst time.

It's not healthy to be competing with the stress fracture in the bone or the mind, but the criticism and 'should have known to pull out sooner' only starts when the break comes before the medal, not after.
It's also not healthy to be wearing leos and flip-flops bedazzled with GOATs on them, then complaining about how much pressure being the GOAT puts on you, but here we are.
 

bogwoppit

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Just reading this thread is a solid reminder of how harsh the internet can be. These young women are humans, who have feelings, lots of complex ones too.

The constant bombardment of opinions is just brutal.

Get a grip, it is just a sport, nobody killed a kitten.
 

PreciousJ

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Just reading this thread is a solid reminder of how harsh the internet can be. These young women are humans, who have feelings, lots of complex ones too.

The constant bombardment of opinions is just brutal.

Get a grip, it is just a sport, nobody killed a kitten.
Also, USA doesn't win every single time, and doesn't need to (and yes, I'm American). It will be OK.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Her majesty queen Simone may do what she feels she needs to do. It is not for us mortals to question her motivations. And no, that was not sarcasm or irony.

I feel similarly to you. She should have withdrawn before team qualfications at the latest. And the only answer I can come up with for your question "Why not bow out gracefully like so many before her?" is... for the endorsements, sadly. The longer she could keep up appearances that she's going to be at the top of the podium at these Olympics, the more money she stood to make from endorsement deals. Anyway, if that's what happened (I don't know for a fact), that's her prerogative. Best of luck to her.
Simone is set. She doesn't need more money. She doesn't need more endorsements. And she doesn't need to prove anything to you.

I see no reason whatsoever to believe she stuck it out while knowing she wasn't up for it in an effort to make money. I think that is a disingenuous and overly cynical reading of the situation (and if I'M calling somebody else too cynical, that's really something)

I think it is far more reasonable to assume that she -- like everybody else in the world -- believed she was fully capable of everything she needed to do. And then -- as sometimes happened to the best of us -- she came to a place where she felt overwhelmed and not able to safely or effectively manage the challenges in front of her, and she made the mature and courageous decision to withdraw rather than risk her own long term health.
 

Really

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Really? Why? What happened to being kind?
I wasn't being unkind. I was merely pointing out that she's behaved in a way that's amplified the pressure on her, and that her own behavior around fame and "greatness" is unhealthy. We've seen it plenty of times before. I also don't think she was wrong to want to maximize endorsement money, if that's what she was doing by not withdrawing. She worked hard for the opportunity to get those endorsements. If people want to give money to her to advertise for them or be the Olympic poster girl, that's their choice.
 

Really

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Her majesty queen Simone may do what she feels she needs to do. It is not for us mortals to question her motivations. And no, that was not sarcasm or irony.


Simone is set. She doesn't need more money. She doesn't need more endorsements. And she doesn't need to prove anything to you.

I see no reason whatsoever to believe she stuck it out while knowing she wasn't up for it in an effort to make money. I think that is a disingenuous and overly cynical reading of the situation (and if I'M calling somebody else too cynical, that's really something)
Michelle Kwan did this exact thing before the 2006 Olympics (she had a physical injury though). She was also set, possibly more so than Simone, although I haven't checked their comparative net worths. I was fine with Michelle doing it then, and I'm fine with it if it's what Simone did now. I was merely stating that was the only reason I could think of for Simone to wait so late to withdraw. Maybe you're right and she underestimated how much stress she would feel going into team finals.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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I wasn't being unkind. I was merely pointing out that she's behaved in a way that's amplified the pressure on her, and that her own behavior around fame and "greatness" is unhealthy. We've seen it plenty of times before. I also don't think she was wrong to want to maximize endorsement money, if that's what she was doing by not withdrawing. She worked hard for the opportunity to get those endorsements. If people want to give money to her to advertise for them or be the Olympic poster girl, that's their choice.
If you think this is about endorsement money, then you do not understand Simone, the Olympics, or high level athletics in general.
 

Cheryl

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It seems like she might have had a bad panic attack, meaning she didn’t know it was coming, and once it happens you really aren’t capable of physically doing the skills. Her mind wouldn’t let her. My family has panic attacks. I once sat in a grocery store parking lot for about an hour because I was afraid to drive home.
It’s no less a game time injury than if she sprained her ankle in warm up.
 

MILgymFAM

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Exactly. I suffer from panic attacks and it feels like I’m dying. My daughter has had a few, and has “borderline ptsd” per two pych evaluations, and she could never get through an *XCEL* meet in the midst of one- I couldn’t even begin to imagine battling through on the world stage, and I doubt it could be done safely by anyone.
 

kendo348

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It's also not healthy to be wearing leos and flip-flops bedazzled with GOATs on them, then complaining about how much pressure being the GOAT puts on you, but here we are.

I think it is unfair to describe her actions or words as complaining. She gave the public as straightforward and honest an explanation for her withdrawal as she could, especially when she’s still figuring it out fully herself, and frankly she didn’t even have to do that but she did to show respect to her supporters who were both curious and worried. None of it blamed others or asked people to feel sorry for her or lacked maturity in any way.