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Simone Biles


Danger41

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Last night (aired today) Simone Biles - greatest American Olympic gymnast- withdrew from the women’s team competition after one event. Original thought was a medical issue but it turns out she withdrew because of mental health concerns. The US ended up finishing second to the Russians for the first time in several olympics.

Thoughts? Smart/brave/cowardly/??

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The media predetermined she was the greatest gymnast of all time (GOAT).  Turns out the media was wrong.  Again.  Just another day in the entertainment news cycle. 

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Now she’s pulled out of the individual competition so her olympics (and probably career) is over. To focus on her mental health. I’ve got absolutely no problem with people focusing on their mental health. I think that’s great. I’ve got a problem quitting in the middle of the biggest competition in your sport and costing your teammates. 
 

And ViperMan, she’s probably the most popular athlete on the planet during the most popular sport during the olympics. So a lot of people care. I know it’s not Trump or covid restrictions, but I appreciate your always valuable input.

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Good friend of mine was an elite level gymnast.  Was on the Canadian national team, missed the olympics due to injury.  Asked his opinion.  Gymnists get something called the "twisties" you completely lose focus, forget your routine.  He said a lot of injuries happen from this.

Either way, she's regarded as the greatest ever, this will tarnish her reputation a bit by not being to handle the pressure.

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1 hour ago, ecugringo said:

Gymnists get something called the "twisties" you completely lose focus, forget your routine.  He said a lot of injuries happen from this.

Last night on TV I heard some former gymnast commentators mentioning this "twisties" thing, and it sounded to me a lot like vertigo/leans or one of the other somatogravic/somatogyral illusions.  Things that to us feel very real and can be highly disorienting (even to the point of physical sickness) when we experience them.

Obviously in the aviation community we take that stuff very seriously....that gave me a little different take on her decision to step down.

That being said, the *real* problem is that she is being deified in the media for quitting, and that's just another indicator that culturally we are disincentivizing merit and promoting victimhood.

Edited by Hacker
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The worst part about this is she took a spot from someone who would have killed to have been in the Olympics. Going over there only to quit, especially in the team competition, is poor form. 

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My SO has become fascinated with gymnastics this Olympics.  She's been watching all the events, along with the accompanying documentaries and the like.  My take based on her endless prattling on our meaningful discussion:

  • US Olympic level gymnastics kinda sucks for the competitors.  They start really young, and train like mad.  Nothing wrong with that, but it really seems to be more driven by overbearing parents, rather than ambitious kids.
  • On top of all the sacrifices involved with training at that elite level, you have the fact that the longtime team doctor turned out to be a world-champion sex offender (Larry Nassar).
  • Thought there was something where Biles was scheduled for six events, whereas the other teammates were only scheduled for two?
  • Hadn't heard of her being "deified" in the media for quitting, I got more of a sense people were critical of her for "letting her team down," etc.  Not sure though, I haven't been digging into it much.

My opinion, based on the little I've seen - good for her.  Something to be said for having the courage to stop, assess yourself, and say no when everyone around you is pushing in the other direction.  She's long since proven herself to the world.  Hope she weathers the storm, returns to the US, gets married, writes a book, whatever-makes-her-happy.

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13 hours ago, HU&W said:

The media predetermined she was the greatest gymnast of all time (GOAT).  Turns out the media was wrong.  Again.  Just another day in the entertainment news cycle. 

She wasn't just pre-determined she is/was. She has the most medals in international competition for any gymnast ever (male or female) on the beam, she has two floor skills named after her, and she is the first woman to win five individual all-around world championships and has not lost an individual all-around in competition in eight years.

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I tell my kids all the time quitting is not an option in life…you always see through what you start, no matter how difficult, tiring, boring, whatever.  But I also tell them never be afraid to ask for help. My initial reaction is she quit and that’s not acceptable, but on the other hand, maybe she had a gun in her mouth the night prior and almost pulled the trigger. I don’t know, so I should probably give her some benefit of the doubt, and hope she gets whatever help she needs, for whatever is going on in her life. 

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8 hours ago, Danger41 said:

And ViperMan, she’s probably the most popular athlete on the planet during the most popular sport during the olympics. So a lot of people care. I know it’s not Trump or covid restrictions, but I appreciate your always valuable input.

I'm intentionally being mildly derisive. I honestly don't really care that she took a knee, as it at least appears to be justified. What I'd rather point at is how such an act would be viewed by the PTB if Michael Jordan did it in game 6 after a poor quarter. Or if Pat Mahomes had done it after throwing an interception in the first quarter of the super bowl.

Does anyone honestly think there would be a mass movement coalescing around those individual's decision to "take care of themselves" and throw in the towel? Of course not. Neither of those athletes (and most others at their level) would be given that benefit of the doubt. The would be blasted on ESPN the next day, perhaps rightfully, for not staying on the field of battle.

Sports is certainly physical, but playing at any level requires a certain level of mental fortitude - overcoming that is what makes someone great - not quitting. So I just view it as one more example of coddling that is going on. We should be instilling fortitude and an attitude of "never quit."

6 hours ago, Hacker said:

That being said, the *real* problem is that she is being deified in the media for quitting, and that's just another indicator that culturally we are disincentivizing merit and promoting victimhood.

Yeah, this.

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I’m less concerned about her actions and more worried and disgusted with the sudden attention to Kerri Strug and the famous “this is your moment and the world is watching to see what you’re gonna do” vault like she was a victim for doing what 99.9% of a million people faced with that choice would never have the fortitude to do, and do it in front of cameras. People have decided to project their own past failures or decisions they felt pressured into and turn it on her scenario like they know what was really going on, and it’s now a narrative of toxic coercion.

Suddenly it’s ok to quit and in fact it’s “the right choice.” It’s not nuanced or a matter of last resort, just acceptable. F that… champions don’t think that way. Warriors don’t think that way. The real world outside peoples coddled suburban perspective life will absolutely crush a society that believes that kind of nonsense.


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I read this situation a lot like taking yourself off the flying schedule if you're not good to fly. If she wasn't in the right headspace to launch herself through the air I'd much rather have her step back so she doesn't hurt the team scores and more importantly herself. Especially when it's some kind of special-d type issue as the media is reporting. 
 

She also did so with enough notice for the team to sub in another gymnast for the final and they still ended up getting silver. Not ideal but she's definitely not a shitbag. But all the talk about her being a hero is silly too. There's nothing heroic about taking yourself off the schedule. It's just a conservative, safe decision. 
 


 

 

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1 hour ago, Pooter said:

I read this situation a lot like taking yourself off the flying schedule if you're not good to fly. If she wasn't in the right headspace to launch herself through the air I'd much rather have her step back so she doesn't hurt the team scores and more importantly herself. Especially when it's some kind of special-d type issue as the media is reporting. 
 

She also did so with enough notice for the team to sub in another gymnast for the final and they still ended up getting silver. Not ideal but she's definitely not a shitbag. But all the talk about her being a hero is silly too. There's nothing heroic about taking yourself off the schedule. It's just a conservative, safe decision. 
 


 

 

Nailed it.  

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Don’t want to give anything away for those waiting for the prime time broadcast, but women’s gymnastics will definitely be worth a watch tonight. 

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None of us are Olympic level, multi-gold medal winning gymnasts with the pressure to win it all again hanging over our head, and flipping ourselves over 10, 20, 30 ft in the air, and thus can't compare this to #23 in game 6.  So we don't get to judge her decisions because there's no way we can fully comprehend what the fuck she's going through.  None of us are in this situation, so we don't get to say she cowarded out or had courage to withdraw.  You think she did this so that medias would make her a god?  Or a villain?  Does anyone seriously think those were the motives??  JFC, this planet is full of a bunch of dumbasses.

Out

 

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I might have more respect for the decision if she hasn't gone out of her way to brand herself the GOAT just a few weeks prior to the Olympics. 

A little humility goes a long way.

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On 7/28/2021 at 7:23 PM, ViperMan said:

…if Pat Mahomes had done it after throwing an interception in the first quarter of the super bowl.

Sports is certainly physical, but playing at any level requires a certain level of mental fortitude - overcoming that is what makes someone great - not quitting. So I just view it as one more example of coddling that is going on. We should be instilling fortitude and an attitude of "never quit."

Yeah, this.

Peel that onion a bit and think about possible effects of it, and then look at the statistics of nfl retirees (admittedly probably the worst sport for athletes) https://www.alligator.org/article/2020/04/football-may-be-gone-but-the-pain-remains-for-nfl-retirees?ct=content_open&cv=cbox_latest

The UF study interviewed 90 former NFL athletes….A third of the participants were found to have moderate to severe signs of depression…more than 90 percent of retired NFL players report pain due to muscle overuse, muscular-skeletal injuries and head trauma that have accumulated over years of playing football” plus, well all the concussions.

It at least points to some correlation between, “never quit” and a pretty rough life for those guys after… they’re not quite gladiators in a colosseum, but I think there is plenty of psychological and maybe physiological influence into driving these folks into terrible lives almost completely for our entertainment/their glory… you are entertained for a few hours periodically over the years, they live with the aftermath.

I love me some football, and I love watching it to see great moments and even to see sacrifices… but man, if Pat Mahomes wants to quit, so be it. We all quit, we all played a sport and eventually realized: I’m not having fun, I suck, or I’m really going to hurt myself… does it matter where that decision occurs? So what, some other person got screwed and couldn’t compete, shit happens, how hard should we drive them?

We have a million+ post thread about how the af sucks and doesn’t take care of people and why everyone is/wants to quit and go to the airlines… how many shiny pennies got the DP then quit… most of us are not facing near the mental and physical abuse these athletes are, but yet we quit… different, yes, but in many ways the same.

when the military periodically requires us to “never quit” we are given medals/parades for it because lives are saved and bad guys die.  Meh, for an athlete out their for either their own accomplishments or my entertainment… their body, their choice.  If they know the risks and they still want some shiny thing to look at to prove they were great, a ticker tape parade on a Cadillac -awesome… if not, I’ll do something else and find entertainment.

You see it as coddling, I see it as a natural process that everyone eventually reaches a limit and has to quit.  Mental health is a fvking problem, and one cause is because people don’t have a path to quit whatever it is they are doing… if Mahomes quits and the media roasts him for it, there is 100 guys that will push themselves well beyond their capacity, because they don’t want to be labeled a quitter.

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None of us are Olympic level, multi-gold medal winning gymnasts with the pressure to win it all again hanging over our head, and flipping ourselves over 10, 20, 30 ft in the air, and thus can't compare this to #23 in game 6.  So we don't get to judge her decisions because there's no way we can fully comprehend what the she's going through.  None of us are in this situation, so we don't get to say she cowarded out or had courage to withdraw.  You think she did this so that medias would make her a god?  Or a villain?  Does anyone seriously think those were the motives??  JFC, this planet is full of a bunch of dumbasses.
Out
 

Except, when you’re a celebrity/athlete competing at the highest levels, on television…. You have rhinestones in the shape of a GOAT to self-ID as the greatest…. we do.

Same as people with no kids judging parenting techniques of those with kids, or women judging the merits of circumcision when they have no penis, or men having thoughts on abortion even though they don’t carry the baby. I can go on and on.

People do get to judge, criticize, and critique athletes. Or anyone, for that matter.

Bottom line: is she a villain or should her mental health be minimized? No. But is she a hero, brave, and all these other things the media is praising her for - without a hint of criticism for quitting when she couldn’t perform at her peak - no. Two things can be true at once.
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Any of you guys buddies with the Tinker OG by chance…?

My understanding is she either had vertigo or a mental break, either of which is debilitating. I get that despite all the “awareness” in recent years, people continue to distill mental illness down to a lack of willpower, but if she suffered that then she didn’t quit any more than Theismann when his leg snapped. If there’s any group of people able to make that distinction it probably ought to be us in the military, but maybe there’s a reason why our suicide awareness training keeps getting expanded every year.

Also, I don’t get all this heartburn with the GOAT stuff. I’ll go out on a limb and say it was cooked up in the marketing department at Nike or wherever. Could she have shot it down? I guess. But according to my Google search from 14 seconds ago, she’s won the most medals in international competition in the history of the sport…so objectively and literally she is the GOAT. I mean Tom Brady could throw a hissy fit and walk out of a game this season, but that doesn’t take away what he’s already accomplished. And he probably will too.  F’ing Tom Brady…

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