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  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Yes, can you imagine what the media would do to LeBron if he pulled out of Game 7 of an NBA finals because the stress was too much?

    I sympathize too as the pressure is immense and also only every four years. But part of being the greatest competitor is being able to handle all that pressure to an extent. I actually would have thought with an empty stadium there'd be less given it only feels like a practice.

    US Women still got the silver (which is disappointing of course given their dominance) as others stepped in without practicing ahead of time to fill in for Biles.

    It will be interesting to see if Biles still competes in the individual all-around. Unfortunately for her teammate that finished third on their team in the prelims, I don't think even if Biles withdraws she gets a spot? Or does she? That two athletes per country rule is pretty silly if you ask me -- she would have easily qualified for the all around if wasn't on Team USA.

    I do think as a society there has been a recent huge swift in supporting athletes with mental issues unlike not too long ago. We saw it with Osaka as well. I can't come up with an analogous situation on the men's side though but I'm sure it's happened.
    Kevin Love and Dak Prescott have been very vocal about mental health. Drew Robinson lost an eye to a suicide attempt and returned to the MLB.

    I feel for all these athletes dealing with these issues. For way too long, mental health has been disregarded and ignored. "Mental toughness" being the peak of masculinity makes the opposite seem to be incredibly weak.

    Athletes are in no way compelled to discuss these personal issues with the public, but I absolutely applaud them when they do. Someone like Biles who is at the absolute apex of her career and popularity is subject to similar issues as us mortals. It unlocks conversations for younger folks that were previously completely taboo.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    You could almost see the Woof Gods lining her up over the past few weeks, nothing but the assumption that she'd win another goal...ridiculous expectations...crazy pressure.
    Yep. Watching an interview this past weekend, I told my wife, "They're setting her up for failure."

    Hoda (with a big dumb grin) was asking her questions like...

    What is it like going into the Olympics as the best gymnast that's ever lived on the planet?
    and
    Can you be beaten?

    Now of course Hoda is crying and talking about how tough the pressure must be. Gag.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Yes, can you imagine what the media would do to LeBron if he pulled out of Game 7 of an NBA finals because the stress was too much?
    .
    I don't think you meant it the way it came across to me, but -- among many other things -- LeBron is paid $39 M a year to play for his team; Biles is an amateur and is under no contract or any other compulsion to participate. Moreover, she has done a huge amount for gymnastics and the USA in the past eight years.

    FWIW, I honestly think the absence of crowds is really hard on world champion athletes who are used to them.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    Yes, can you imagine what the media would do to LeBron if he pulled out of Game 7 of an NBA finals because the stress was too much?

    I sympathize too as the pressure is immense and also only every four years. But part of being the greatest competitor is being able to handle all that pressure to an extent. I actually would have thought with an empty stadium there'd be less given it only feels like a practice.

    US Women still got the silver (which is disappointing of course given their dominance) as others stepped in without practicing ahead of time to fill in for Biles.

    It will be interesting to see if Biles still competes in the individual all-around. Unfortunately for her teammate that finished third on their team in the prelims, I don't think even if Biles withdraws she gets a spot? Or does she? That two athletes per country rule is pretty silly if you ask me -- she would have easily qualified for the all around if wasn't on Team USA.

    I do think as a society there has been a recent huge swift in supporting athletes with mental issues unlike not too long ago. We saw it with Osaka as well. I can't come up with an analogous situation on the men's side though but I'm sure it's happened.
    I sympathize with the athletes as well particularly women's gymnastics. Pure speculation, but the Larry Nassar scandal comes to mind when I see posts about female gymnasts and their mental health. Really saddening but they've got a lot of grit.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacone21 View Post
    Yep. Watching an interview this past weekend, I told my wife, "They're setting her up for failure."

    Hoda (with a big dumb grin) was asking her questions like...

    What is it like going into the Olympics as the best gymnast that's ever lived on the planet?
    and
    Can you be beaten?

    Now of course Hoda is crying and talking about how tough the pressure must be. Gag.
    I had the same thoughts during that interview. I thought those were terrible questions, with a real risk of backfiring. (And now of course Hoda will be the first one up to talk about how terrible it is that we put so much pressure on these athletes).

    But while the media and the public have put a lot of pressure on her, Simone has not done anything to help herself over the last several months: sooo many commercials, many interviews, a documentary, and then there were those flip flops with “GOAT” written in glitter that she wore during the trials. I wonder who was giving her advice about her public presence. And whether anyone advised her to turn her cell phone off and stop tweeting, at least during the Olympics. Maybe she was told to do that and made her own choice. I cannot imagine the pressure she has faced, but if you want to be the GOAT, pressure comes with the territory. And she chose to tryout for and accept a position on a 4 person team….that comes with a responsibility to do one’s best for the team. Other gymnasts would have loved to have her spot (Mycayla Skinner as an example). How many other athletes have to conquer their fears and pressure on “race day”. I have loved watching Simone. But as sympathetic as I am to the huge pressure she faces, I am very disappointed in her decision.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I don't think you meant it the way it came across to me, but -- among many other things -- LeBron is paid $39 M a year to play for his team; Biles is an amateur and is under no contract or any other compulsion to participate. Moreover, she has done a huge amount for gymnastics and the USA in the past eight years.

    FWIW, I honestly think the absence of crowds is really hard on world champion athletes who are used to them.
    While not LeBron money, I don't think Biles is on her way to the poor house. I'd bet she's a millionaire many times over.

    Not sure how I feel on this issue. While I have some sympathy for the woman, this is the life she chose. And pulling out of a team event is different than pulling out of an individual event.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    While not LeBron money, I don't think Biles is on her way to the poor house. I'd bet she's a millionaire many times over.

    Not sure how I feel on this issue. While I have some sympathy for the woman, this is the life she chose. And pulling out of a team event is different than pulling out of an individual event.
    Good perspective on a Duke site that a healthy portion of members have spent many posts the past few months for bashing one of own team members. (Deservedly, too.)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I don't think you meant it the way it came across to me, but -- among many other things -- LeBron is paid $39 M a year to play for his team; Biles is an amateur and is under no contract or any other compulsion to participate. Moreover, she has done a huge amount for gymnastics and the USA in the past eight years.

    FWIW, I honestly think the absence of crowds is really hard on world champion athletes who are used to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by dudog84 View Post
    While not LeBron money, I don't think Biles is on her way to the poor house. I'd bet she's a millionaire many times over.

    Not sure how I feel on this issue. While I have some sympathy for the woman, this is the life she chose. And pulling out of a team event is different than pulling out of an individual event.
    Right. I agree with much of the above. Certainly, Biles has been huge for gymnastics and the USA for many years. I'm not questioning her commitment or greatness. But I don't think because somebody is paid an ungodly amount of money that changes the pressure they're under or feeling of "obligation." LeBron and NBA players have immense pressure (and so do their female counterparts). Those who qualify for Olympic sports ARE basically contracted to compete...I mean, that's what they dedicate their entire livelihoods to -- in order to compete at the Olympics. I could modify my statement to be Michael Phelps instead -- if he dropped out of relay right before it was going to happen? Maybe they'd give him the same understanding as Biles though -- who knows. Maybe the lack of crowds does give an "eerie" feel and make it harder for some -- probably varies athlete to athlete I expect.

    We'll see what happens with the individual event. I certainly think Biles is amazing, has dedicated a lot to the sport and has shown the utmost commitment, doesn't "owe" people, is under immense pressure certainly, etc. etc. but again one could argue that being able to compete under immense pressure is a critical skillset in being the greatest at a particular sport on a world-wide stage. Having said that, they're all human just like us. But some thrive on the pressure, others don't. I also agree that Hoda's interview questions were quite ridiculous. Dunno if it added pressure, but they seemed absurd and would make anybody blush really.

    As someone who competed in sports and didn't necessarily thrive under pressure, I can relate, but I'm not considered the GOAT in my sport (or even close). And, of course, I recognize the pressure/scrutiny I was under is NOTHING compared to someone in the Olympics like Biles. When on the top of her game, Biles is definitely a level above the rest.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedukeman View Post
    I sympathize with the athletes as well particularly women's gymnastics. Pure speculation, but the Larry Nassar scandal comes to mind when I see posts about female gymnasts and their mental health. Really saddening but they've got a lot of grit.
    Simon Biles was one of the young women - sorry, children - Larry Nassar sexually abused. USA Gymnastics had a policy in place to cover it up.

    Simon Biles can do whatever the HE-Double Hockey Sticks she wants as far as I’m concerned.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Simon Biles was one of the young women - sorry, children - Larry Nassar sexually abused. USA Gymnastics had a policy in place to cover it up.

    Simon Biles can do whatever the HE-Double Hockey Sticks she wants as far as I’m concerned.
    Well, I agree with you if by “she can do whatever…she wants” you meant that she could choose to tryout for the team or not. But once she accepted the spot on the 4 person team, I think she did have an obligation to do her part. Even after they got to Japan, if she had stepped down sooner, one of the alternates (or Mykayla Skinner) could have taken her spot. One can argue that she doesn’t owe the public anything (I would probably debate that), but she does owe something to her fellow teammates, the alternates and the Olympic Committee that is supporting her trip to Japan. Even if she had opted out of two events, a modest performance on the mat might have made the difference between silver and gold for her teammates.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    Well, I agree with you if by “she can do whatever…she wants” you meant that she could choose to tryout for the team or not. But once she accepted the spot on the 4 person team, I think she did have an obligation to do her part. Even after they got to Japan, if she had stepped down sooner, one of the alternates (or Mykayla Skinner) could have taken her spot. One can argue that she doesn’t owe the public anything (I would probably debate that), but she does owe something to her fellow teammates, the alternates and the Olympic Committee that is supporting her trip to Japan. Even if she had opted out of two events, a modest performance on the mat might have made the difference between silver and gold for her teammates.
    No. She told us she was not well enough to compete. That’s all we need to know. If she were dealing with a busted knee, no one would bat an eye, it would just be unfortunate. But because she is mentally unwell, instead of physically unwell, she had a personal failing and let her team down. BS.

    Mental and emotional unwelless can render people unable to function every bit as much as physical unwellness.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    Well, I agree with you if by “she can do whatever…she wants” you meant that she could choose to tryout for the team or not. But once she accepted the spot on the 4 person team, I think she did have an obligation to do her part. Even after they got to Japan, if she had stepped down sooner, one of the alternates (or Mykayla Skinner) could have taken her spot. One can argue that she doesn’t owe the public anything (I would probably debate that), but she does owe something to her fellow teammates, the alternates and the Olympic Committee that is supporting her trip to Japan. Even if she had opted out of two events, a modest performance on the mat might have made the difference between silver and gold for her teammates.
    As far as I am concerned, the Olympics are for the athletes -- that's why they were started 125 years ago. Simone decided she didn't want to continue in the team gymnastic event; her replacement did well. Perhaps there were unusual pressures on her in a COVID year, and there is Larry Nasser hovering over the older members of the US team. She wasn't, moreover, performing to her standards. Her teammates all support her decision. End of story.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  13. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    As far as I am concerned, the Olympics are for the athletes -- that's why they were started 125 years ago. Simone decided she didn't want to continue in the team gymnastic event; her replacement did well. Perhaps there were unusual pressures on her in a COVID year, and there is Larry Nasser hovering over the older members of the US team. She wasn't, moreover, performing to her standards. Her teammates all support her decision. End of story.
    I take her at her word. If she says she was unable to compete, the how's abd why's are irrelevant.

    If folks don't understand how mental health might prohibit one from competing, then I assume you are fortunate enough to have not seen mental health issues up close. Consider yourself quite fortunate.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    her replacement did well.
    Minor quibble…there was really no replacement. It was too late to let one of the alternates take her spot. The team had to continue with 3 athletes, not 4 as the other teams had. This meant that all three athletes had to perform on every apparatus, which was not the original plan. Had Simone pulled out even a couple days earlier, an alternate would have been allowed to compete on the team, and they could have picked an alternate who best rounded out the team. It could have made all the difference.

    I am not trying to minimize her mental difficulties. But I doubt they arose by surprise that day. Of course her teammates supported her in public. It would have been counter productive to do anything else.

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    Minor quibble…there was really no replacement. It was too late to let one of the alternates take her spot. The team had to continue with 3 athletes, not 4 as the other teams had. This meant that all three athletes had to perform on every apparatus, which was not the original plan. Had Simone pulled out even a couple days earlier, an alternate would have been allowed to compete on the team, and they could have picked an alternate who best rounded out the team. It could have made all the difference.

    I am not trying to minimize her mental difficulties. But I doubt they arose by surprise that day. Of course her teammates supported her in public. It would have been counter productive to do anything else.
    I don't feel obligated to any sort of detailed information about whether it "arose by surprise" that day. Nor would I presume to have any idea how her teammates feel about it.

    Maybe they are thankful for all the attention and glory she has brought to the team. Maybe they are aware of how much she is fighting whatever struggles she is dealing with.

    Maybe they think she's a primadonna.

    I will wait for more information to make any such judgment. If I don't get more information, I'm perfectly fine with that too.

    I'm certainly not owed any explanation.

  16. #76
    I’m torn like others seem to be. Mental health is no joke. That said - she is an Olympian … the best of the best of the best. I imagine mental health issues did not just magically appear but have manifested over years. While I certainly don’t know what she does personally to manage (I read somewhere anxiety meds and therapy), she has not done herself any favors over the past few months. Mental health issues didn’t preclude her from taking millions of dollars in endorsement money, or keep her from being the self proclaimed (albeit it true) GOAT (with the flip flops and picture on her leotard). I read that she couldn’t escape the Twitter mentions amd the pressure that brings - the simple answer is to uninstall Twitter for the games. What we end up with is Simone quitting on her teammates. Forget the US, forget the sponsors, her teammates were counting on her amd she abandoned them.

    Someone mentioned that we wouldn’t bat an eye if she had a blown out knee. I disagree … if she was engaging in highly risky behavior in the months leading up to the games, with the result being a blown out knee, she would still be catching flack - although even that would be better because a replacement could be installed.

    In today’s world, it seems that mental toughness is a characteristic branded as toxic and to be avoided. In this case, unfortunately, it looks to me like she didn’t have her A game and instead of pushing and grinding through with her B or C game (which is still probably too 2 or 3 in the world) she WD.

    To be clear, I would have a different view if her WD was from the individual events.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    Minor quibble…there was really no replacement. It was too late to let one of the alternates take her spot. The team had to continue with 3 athletes, not 4 as the other teams had. This meant that all three athletes had to perform on every apparatus, which was not the original plan. Had Simone pulled out even a couple days earlier, an alternate would have been allowed to compete on the team, and they could have picked an alternate who best rounded out the team. It could have made all the difference.

    I am not trying to minimize her mental difficulties. But I doubt they arose by surprise that day. Of course her teammates supported her in public. It would have been counter productive to do anything else.
    You gloss over the fact that she would be putting her health at risk by competing. Gymnastics ain’t as easy as typing on a computer anonymously.
    Carolina delenda est

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tooold View Post
    I am not trying to minimize her mental difficulties. But I doubt they arose by surprise that day. Of course her teammates supported her in public. It would have been counter productive to do anything else.
    Sure and I know a couple of people who have committed suicide and their difficulties didn't arise by surprise that day but, for whatever reason, that's the day they committed suicide. We don't get to choose when a mental health event occurs, whether its acute and unexpected like a panic attack or the product of ongoing trauma like, say, navigating how to represent an organization that covered up your sexual abuse.

    We don't know. She said she was not well enough to compete. Take her at her word. Her teammates say they support her. Don't speculate on how they feel; take them at their word. If there is more we should know, I'm sure it will come out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Channing View Post
    Someone mentioned that we wouldn’t bat an eye if she had a blown out knee. I disagree … if she was engaging in highly risky behavior in the months leading up to the games, with the result being a blown out knee, she would still be catching flack - although even that would be better because a replacement could be installed.

    In today’s world, it seems that mental toughness is a characteristic branded as toxic and to be avoided. In this case, unfortunately, it looks to me like she didn’t have her A game and instead of pushing and grinding through with her B or C game (which is still probably too 2 or 3 in the world) she WD.
    .
    You added the bit about highly risky behavior. She could have tripped on the way to the mat. It doesn't matter, physical injury is still treated different than mental injury. Perhaps we should think of certain mental issues like stress factures that splinter and splinter under sustained pressure until a precipitating event finally causes them to snap.

    You appear to be questioning her mental toughness. As a reminder, she was sexually molested while she was a child by a doctor of an organization she continues to represent. That organization was supposed to be coaching and protecting her but actually had an executive policy in place to NOT report abuse to the authorities. She then went on to become among the best ever, an international superstar, and is the only victim Nassar's in Tokyo attempting to represent USA Gymnastics, the very organization that betrayed her and other children.

    Simone Biles is f**ing tough.

  19. #79
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    The perils of putting a very young person on an absurdly high pedestal...

  20. #80
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    Also it’s possible that with family/friends not allowed in Japan she is missing a key part of her support system.

    And not to be sour grapes, but what is with the Russian Olympic Committee? I get not punishing the athletes for the actions of their government, but why allow them to participate in team aggregate/relay events? There is seemingly no punishment for running a large scale doing/cheating operations?

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