Gymnast Social Media Megathread

To avoid having a bunch of different social media-related threads, I figured one main thread would be a good idea. If there’s any topic that becomes a Big Thing, then our lovely mods can turn that into it’s own thread.

Now for the actual reason why I wanted to start this thread - Shawn Johnson-East calling her newborn son her boyfriend:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CWqkKooL7_z/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CW5z2Q7rMVt/

I’m pleased that my 2010 prediction was correct in that she was going to go the mommy blogger route. I’m awaiting Mykayla Skinner to metamorphize into her final form as a Mormon mommy vlogger who has enough kids to field an Olympic gymnastics team.

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I find it weirdly cute, the boyfriend thing :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I mean, I will basically cheer for anything that’s not another sheep jump from her.

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I want her to call her next kid Sheep Jump.

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Well that’d be SJ for the initials, we might be onto something here

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wondering if Mykayla will eventually run a funeral potato hack channel on YouTube

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Ahhhhhhhh, funeral potatoes!

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Dominique Moceanu Canales is expecting her third child.

José M.

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dead seth meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers

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She still has such marvelous style and great extension through her whole body. An artist tbh

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OMG I lolled

Probably too busy to take on the new HPC role then I guess Jose.

Simone has (unsurprisingly) been named Time’s Athlete of the Year. Should have been Person of the Year over Elon Musk, but I digress. Anyway, they posted a lovely video, it’s worth a watch:

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Everyone should’ve been person of the year over Elon Musk.

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Precisely. I mean, Simone deserves it more than say, me, but yeah. I wasn’t impressed.

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I say Dolly Parton for her role in funding the COVID vaccines or Eugene Goodman for his role on 1/6.

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Not to beat a dead horse, but I think the way this video – and the media in general, for the most part – frames Simone’s decision is a little off-base. She pulled out of TF because had she continued, she almost certainly would have gotten injured, and, as she said in the press conference, hurt her team’s score. You can see, in the series of still images of her TF vault in that video, how completely lost she was. By pulling out of the rest of the final, she was “choosing herself” in that she was choosing not to break her own neck.

This is not to demean the focus of the importance of mental health. It’s good that attention is being brought to struggles with mental health in sports, and in life in general. Athletes at any level should be able to put the brakes on when they feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed. But is that actually what happened with Simone? Obviously she was under enormous pressure, and her demeanor the past few years suggested that it was weighing on her. But, in the moment, she pulled out because she had the twisties. Did her mental health play a role in that? That’s the subject of another long thread on this forum, but the answer is we don’t know.

What she actually did – withdraw because she knew she would hurt herself otherwise – is equally precedent-setting and worthy of attention. How many athletes know something is wrong, that a part of their body is hanging on by a thread and it’s dangerous to keep going, but continue anyway? And how many end up getting hurt? Saving your body, even when a title is on the line, should be normalized as well.

In the end, it’s a matter of nuance. Simone showed the world you can stop if you need to, and that is a crucial message. But I think it is worth emphasizing that athletes can have any number of reasons not to power through, and they should be given the power to voice them.

I know she mentioned mental health as a factor in the post-TF press conference, and of course it was a theme of the tour. So it must have played a role, but I imagine she would have powered through the Olympics if not for the twisties–as she had, over and over, for the previous three years, even as she probably had been enduring the same sort of mental health issues. Someone here asked at the time why she didn’t just tell the reporters at the press conference that she had a mental block. She probable would have gotten less flak for it. At least in the US, people still consider mental health problems as a type of weakness, or laziness, or malingering. If it ain’t bleeding, and it’s all in your head, then get over it and get on with it. But even the racist uncle posting rants on Twitter understands a mental block, because baseball players get them, as do golfers and basketball players. Many of them power through, though, because those slumps aren’t life-threatening. I’m not sure why USAG didn’t bother to push that fact – that a mental block in gymnastics is uniquely dangerous – to the media more during the Olympics. They way the whole situation was handled, PR wise, and the way it is still discussed in the media now, strikes me as strange.

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I don’t usually talk about this because i feel in the states the conversation is different but i agree with a lot of what you say about the framing. I’m also frankly rather shocked that they sent her out to do an amanar in that state. If anything at all had happened to her this whole story would have been radically different.

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Yes, the more that seeps out about events between prelims and TFs, the more I lean that way too. We don’t know exactly what went on of course, and possibly never will, but I’m increasingly grateful that nobody had to learn the hard way how dangerous passivity in coaching can be.

It is a shame in a way the picture was muddied initially. Because there are arguments either way about how you frame the mental health aspect. But the one thing that’s an absolute certainty is that whatever the reason was, Simone could not compete. When your head is gone it’s gone. You can’t do high level gymnastics if a part of your body suddenly isn’t working properly, be that your knees or your air sense, and whatever the reason for it not working. It simply isn’t possible.

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She couldn’t compete her Olympic routines. But she could compete, I think.

The Amanar baulk scared her, and she rightly couldn’t compete the rest of that day.

But I wonder if Laurent, seeing the twisties start the day after prelims, couldn’t have tweaked/watered down her routines before TF. She would have still been a better option, at least on bars and beam with watered down dismounts, than Jordan.

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Yeah it’s just crazy to me they’d send her out to do vault, of all things.

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