She said that’s what she was being TOLD, not that it was the case
Exactly. The attitude from USAG/Tom Forster continued to be terrible all along. When Simone said she didn’t feel like she was able to do this Olympics for herself any more and just do the best she could with nothing left to prove, and that everyone was putting all this pressure on her to deliver what the team clearly couldn’t, that’s what it meant. So what if USA qualified 2nd? If we ended up with a silver medal, the attitude should have been that would be fine as long as everyone did their best.
Despite Simone always clearly doing the best she could on the day, it still came down to the fact that USAG/Tom/NBC/her teammates still counted on Simone to deliver a medal (and a gold one at that) for them.
Tom had a year to get a clue that Russia’s younger gymnasts were really good. He had all this time to manage media expectations that we weren’t only going to count on getting a gold or it would be a failure. There should have been no freaking out a day before team finals from the adults in the room. Instead he continued to act like a spineless moron with zero responsibility or accountability, continues to be self-congratulatory and express zero remorse about his own hubris. He’s the one who believed his own hype instead of actually looking at any strategy and continued to take credit for Simone’s success all along, then abandoned her the minute things looked rough.
This was a competition, not a coronation. That’s what Laurent had been saying all along in Simone’s latest FB Watch episodes. Something like “everyone is so sure that everything is a sure thing and the medals are a given, but NOTHING is guaranteed until it is over”.
Everyone failed Simone because they relied on her to deliver all the points and cushion and then even when she did her best, they all kept panicking and hammering how she had failed her country.
Simone Biles’ comments on how “everyone” (i.e. Tom Forster) was freaking out after qualifications is hilarious. How old is he again? He should be the emotional support person and not her.
It’s more about it being framed as a “choice” by the media for me. It wasn’t a choice to preserve her mental health. She couldn’t do the skills. There was no choice involved.
She wasn’t peaked for Trials though. That’s the difference.
Matt, can you spin this off into its own thread and link to video so that others can take a look? Finding video isn’t easy, so while it might not be possible now, it may be later and it will be good to have this.
I think perhaps there was some. Simone had to bench herself, or at least it looks that way. She was not capable of doing her routines, but she is the one who said “I am prioritizing my safety and I’m done”. Given a lot of things we saw or heard about this week - Dalaloyan doing what he did, Maroney relating the story of taking a sleeping pill on the flight to London, going through processing, and then straight onto beam training and breaking her foot because that was what she was supposed to do - I can see where taking that control and saying no was a powerful moment for Simone. So it’s not entirely bad to include the role of choice here, but the whole part where competing would have been fully suicidal is being undersold.
(I am not suggesting Dalaloyan was forced nor anything less that awe-inspiring; just saying that Simone had another example of an athlete doing something superhuman and extremely dangerous right there in front of her).
Absolutely. But USAG is not only to blame.
How often do we approach Worlds and wonder how the scoring is going to be on certain events. Remember we wondered about beam in 2018 and 2019…would the judges show up with a “Montreal pen”. It should not be like this at all.
Also, judges should not shift from one year to the other in terms of taking deductions. Wieber breezed by in 2011 but then in 2012 her spotty connection on was not given a benefit of the doubt. Kara Eaker also got hosed from 2018 to 2019 with her rings.She was credited fully at Pan Ams in Lima but then had issues in Stuttgart. That shouldn’t be happening.
The US team’s execution in 2019 was not as harshly judged as it was in Tokyo (I agree with Tokyo judges!) but also Russia got a few gifts in Tokyo, specifically Melnikova on more than one occasion.
Domestic scoring is whack in the US but it was also whack in China and Russia for a while too.
International judging needs to do better overall. Not just in terms of the top 3 but the rest as well. It is unfair to the other countries that China, Russia, and the US get benefits but they are judged more harshly because they don’t have the right leotard on.
I am still trying to figure out how Brooklyn Moors got a 8.366 for execution on her AA FX and Melnikova got an 8.266, only one tenth less. Moors with a far superior set. I had it a 9.000 and I don’t know how the judges got it down to an 8.3.
Bring on the robot judging. So ready for this judging shit to be done with
Wasnt Cheryl the D Panel on Beam in Lima?
Also, wiebers problems in 2012 were less a different scoring and more incompetent Trainer delusion. The “connections” around the full were absurd, and the “upgrades” on floor I’m sure lowered her actual score because the execution was very bad
The difference is, China and Russian have a domestic scoring system. They know they are unlikely to achieve those scores internationally. The US seems to have example after example of where it’s come as a shock
It’s a fair point about international judges sometimes shifting, so for some of the US gymnasts who’ve received nasty surprises, it isn’t solely a domestic judging issue. Kara Eaker’s rings got credited at worlds until they didn’t.
However, it’s still the case that even in instances like her and Eaker, likely unnecessary risks were being taken and it would be better to have a system where the NTC is discouraging skill choice like eg Wieber in 2012. It simply didn’t need to happen. There is no way a gymnast of the talent of Kara Eaker didn’t have other composition options open to her. And there are also lots of instances that aren’t at all borderline and US judges just plain overscored. So there’s a twofold problem.
Yes, but is Simone conflating 2 different things?
No one knows what causes the twisties – which is the actual reason she dropped out. She was also feeling stress and may have connected the two but who knows if they were really connected.
I wish they would study the phenomenon scientifically.
But I also wish USAG had helped Simone more with the messaging after this happened.
Simone also had to grieve for her aunt who passed away while she was in Tokyo.
That is also not helpful when extremely stressed out.
Yes. All of this. But she pulled out because of the twisties
Absolutely but the frustration and anxiety and stress dealing with pressure and the twisties is further compounded when you add grief and maybe guilt on top of it. From what I understand is the death was not expected and Simone and her aunt were close. Not saying she would have been able to bounce back quicker from the team finals withdrawl but processing the death of a loved one isn’t easy, let alone while you are at the Olympics already dealing with mental health concerns.
I’m very happy to not csi this one. Maybe we’ll know what happened, maybe she’ll say what happened… I don’t think so though. Who knows, who cares. Let her be. It’s enough for me.
I have this image of Jordyn showing the connections for the first time and Martha going, "WTF is this?!
Never thought Martha liked John Geddert or his ideas, but she was powerless to do anything because Wieber was undroppable.
I have some sympathy for the beam connection. It got credited at 2011 Worlds and it was slow (being generous - a stop at worst). So why not tack a front handspring on before it?
What is not excusable is the Gogean on floor. I don’t think I ever saw it rotated. Ever.