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I have a feeling that Brody Malone and Yul Moldauer are going to have an awesome Olympics in 2024

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Great AA Mens final. As for Simone, multiple things can be true at the same time. Clearly, she has not been in the right headspace for some time and in my opinion she should have withdrawn sooner (not gone to Tokyo) and allowed someone to represent the US who was in the right place to successfully participate in the games. Apparently, this is also the very first time that her parents have not gone with her to a competition - so that was probably a factor. And I also put some of the blame on her team who should have recognized this and helped her pivot, instead they all seemed to push her to feed into the storyline that was being pushed about her being this unstoppable unbeatable machine - right down to some of the commercials she was in and sewing a goat on her leotard. 

And call it what you will but it’s also obvious that there are number of athletes who thrive under optimal conditions but seem to really struggle when things are disrupted. 

Edited by ShellsandCheese
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6 minutes ago, ShellsandCheese said:

And I also put some of the blame on her team who should have recognized this and helped her pivot, instead they all seemed to push her to feed into the storyline that was being pushed about her being this unstoppable unbeatable machine - right down to some of the commercials she was in and sewing a goat on her leotard. 

I can't blame the team for it.  She seemed to enjoy being "The GOAT."   If there was trouble brewing, then maybe her coaches should've stepped in and tried to redirect her energy away from the hype.  Either way, I hope she'll be okay. 

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5 minutes ago, Conotocarious said:

Simone competed and won while dealing with a kidney stone. (I have had stones before and I have NO IDEA how she did this). She has been competing with god knows how much physical pain for who knows how long. She is capable of handling suboptimal conditions. Nobody….NOBODY is perfect all the time. She hasn’t lost a competition since 2013….you mean to tell me she’s been enjoying “optimal conditions” for almost ten years as a gymnast? A sport that routine spits out 18 year olds as over the hill?

Also, GOAT does not mean an athlete will never struggle or fall. Nadia fell and had many struggles after bursting on the scene and she’s been considered the greatest legend ever until Simone. Simone is already the GOAT, Tokyo or no Tokyo and its OK for her to acknowledge that when everyone and their mother has been saying it for a while now.

My comment about optimal conditions was response to the ongoing conversation about COVID and how it has thrown some people off and benefitted others; not directed at Simone personally. And as I said before multiple things can be true at once. What you said is true. What’s also true is apparently Simone has been struggling to deal with the pressure for some time by her own admission. Which I said I put some of the blame on her team - who should have recognized this. 

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2 minutes ago, ShellsandCheese said:

My comment about optimal conditions was response to the ongoing conversation about COVID and how it has thrown some people off and benefitted others; not directed at Simone personally. And as I said before multiple things can be true at once. What you said is true. What’s also true is apparently Simone has been struggling to deal with the pressure for some time by her own admission. Which I said I put some of the blame on her team - who should have recognized this. 

OK, yes, I misunderstood the COVID connection. Yes, you’re right, some are doing just fine and some clearly aren’t.  And yes, Simone has been struggling and probably feeling somewhat trapped for awhile now. And its also true someone should have recognized it, and I wonder if people HAVE been noticing and we just don’t know because we are not behind the scenes obviously. Maybe one day we’ll find out.

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2 hours ago, ChitChat said:

To be fair, I think that once one bows out of the team competition, then you'd automatically be disqualified from the individual competition.  I feel bad for Simone and have sympathy for whatever issues she's having, but when you're done, you're done.  

I don't know why that should be automatic.  They're separate events. It's like someone pulling out of a swimming final because of cramping or illness but being ready to go for the next one on a different day.

1 hour ago, Dots And Stripes said:

The COVID years seems to have hurt more athletes than it helped. Yes, there are some 16 year olds competing who are only eligible because of the delay and Grace and a couple swimmers have said they improved, but I think there are more athletes who were thrown not just by the wait but by the disruption.

The gold medalists might disagree.  It may have hurt some of the favorites--especially those who are returning from the last Olympics who have aged a year. But races are still being won.  Records are still being set.  Repeats are still happening.

And that's especially true for Simone.  Gymnast is one of the sports where it really is a benefit to be very young when it comes to size, weight, and mentality.  (As we get older, it becomes more obvious that bad stuff can happen.) 

Edited by Irlandesa
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1 hour ago, Dots And Stripes said:

The COVID years seems to have hurt more athletes than it helped. Yes, there are some 16 year olds competing who are only eligible because of the delay and Grace and a couple swimmers have said they improved, but I think there are more athletes who were thrown not just by the wait but by the disruption.

 

You would have to ask almost every discipline and every athlete to know that to be true.  There are a lot of happy athletes at the Olympics doing great things.  I think many of them are glad to have the opportunity to compete.  I just don’t think the extra year was a negative for the majority.  The Olympics come every 4 years normally, and there are always athletes that miss their peak window by Olympics being a year too early or late, even without COVID.

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Sad to see Simone withdraw, but I am happy she is putting her mental health first. I think the pandemic hurt the US gymnastics program. It might have helped Grace and Jordan I think both said it did, but you had other gymnasts like Morgan Hurd and Kayla DiCello who looked like they were great form before the pandemic hit and just never regained that or in Morgan's case was to injured. Yes Kayla was an alternate, but I thought she could sneak into that fourth spot. I used those two as examples because we saw them compete in 2020 before the pandemic.

It makes sense look at Gabby in 2012 who hit her ultimate peak if the Olympics were delayed until 2013 she might have gotten better but mental toll might have hit. 

I do wonder if Aimee still coached Simone maybe she wouldn't have felt so much pressure. Aimee was really good at that in 2016 not letting outside stuff effect her. It seems like under the Landi's the relationship is completely different. 

Edited by choclatechip45
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About a week ago, MyKayla Skinner posted a YouTube video where she showed that in their first hotel (in the town outside of Tokyo where they were first training) she and Simone were sharing a room together. But once they moved to their hotel in Tokyo right outside the Olympic Village, they were split into individual (and pretty tiny) rooms. Plus, some of their meals were (are?) being delivered as room service, so they were also expected to eat by themselves, at least for some meals. 

Although many athletes would likely appreciate the ability to have a room to themselves, Simone is clearly an extrovert and I wonder if these housing conditions have contributed to her situation. Add on not being able to have her family in the same country, probably not being able to even simply go for a walk, lack of an audience in the arena, constant COVID testing and isolation, and so on and so on. Yes, the other athletes are also missing their families and dealing with similar isolation, but none of them have anything near the expectations placed on them that Simone does.

Then add on the team composition "strategy" blatantly taking her and her scores for granted, and the fact that this "strategy" was concocted by an organization that didn't protect her from chronic sexual and emotional abuse, and has barely made any effort to correct the problems and culture that led to the abuse, it wouldn't be surprising that a return to the Olympics could become unexpectedly triggering for her. 

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26 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

The gold medalists might disagree.  It may have hurt some of the favorites--especially those who are returning from the last Olympics who have aged a year. But races are still being won.  Records are still being set.  Repeats are still happening.

And that's especially true for Simone.  Gymnast is one of the sports where it really is a benefit to be very young when it comes to size, weight, and mentality.  (As we get older, it becomes more obvious that bad stuff can happen.) 

Of course somebody still wins gold. Someone will win even if the entire field is below expectations. That's how competitions work.

I didn't even say all athletes were harmed by the year, but as I did say, Golden covered why the "extra year" was harder than non-athletes would realize. It's not just more practice time. It changes the plan and many athletes did not have the opportunity to practice or compete the way they normal would to prepare for the Olympics because COVID interrupted everything.

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8 minutes ago, ombelico said:

About a week ago, MyKayla Skinner posted a YouTube video where she showed that in their first hotel (in the town outside of Tokyo where they were first training) she and Simone were sharing a room together. But once they moved to their hotel in Tokyo right outside the Olympic Village, they were split into individual (and pretty tiny) rooms. Plus, some of their meals were (are?) being delivered as room service, so they were also expected to eat by themselves, at least for some meals. 

Although many athletes would likely appreciate the ability to have a room to themselves, Simone is clearly an extrovert and I wonder if these housing conditions have contributed to her situation. Add on not being able to have her family in the same country, probably not being able to even simply go for a walk, lack of an audience in the arena, constant COVID testing and isolation, and so on and so on. Yes, the other athletes are also missing their families and dealing with similar isolation, but none of them have anything near the expectations placed on them that Simone does.

Then add on the team composition "strategy" blatantly taking her and her scores for granted, and the fact that this "strategy" was concocted by an organization that didn't protect her from chronic sexual and emotional abuse, and has barely made any effort to correct the problems and culture that led to the abuse, it wouldn't be surprising that a return to the Olympics could become unexpectedly triggering for her. 

This is such a good post.

I think all these factors have definitely contributed. Simone IS an extrovert and probably the ultimate extrovert honestly. She does really seem to mean it when she emphasizes it should be fun and its all over her face and demeanor when its not. I grew up watching Karolyi era gymnastics and no one ever looked like they were having any fun. It honestly stuns me that gymnastics, which I consider beautiful yet utterly terrifying, has been fun for her for so long.

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23 minutes ago, ombelico said:

About a week ago, MyKayla Skinner posted a YouTube video where she showed that in their first hotel (in the town outside of Tokyo where they were first training) she and Simone were sharing a room together. But once they moved to their hotel in Tokyo right outside the Olympic Village, they were split into individual (and pretty tiny) rooms. Plus, some of their meals were (are?) being delivered as room service, so they were also expected to eat by themselves, at least for some meals. 

Although many athletes would likely appreciate the ability to have a room to themselves, Simone is clearly an extrovert and I wonder if these housing conditions have contributed to her situation. Add on not being able to have her family in the same country, probably not being able to even simply go for a walk, lack of an audience in the arena, constant COVID testing and isolation, and so on and so on. Yes, the other athletes are also missing their families and dealing with similar isolation, but none of them have anything near the expectations placed on them that Simone does.

Then add on the team composition "strategy" blatantly taking her and her scores for granted, and the fact that this "strategy" was concocted by an organization that didn't protect her from chronic sexual and emotional abuse, and has barely made any effort to correct the problems and culture that led to the abuse, it wouldn't be surprising that a return to the Olympics could become unexpectedly triggering for her. 

I think you are right with the extrovert part. 

I hate USA Gymnastics and want the organization disbanded. I think Tom is awful at his job. However I partly blame Simone's coaches. They clearly should have said no to some of Simone's difficulty and they didn't. In hindsight she probably should have never done the difficult yurchenko vault in competition and kept that in pit like Aimee did.

Regarding team composition the team was always going to have built around her and she would have still done all 4 events in the team final if Skinner or Jade was on the team. There probably would have been more pressure on her if Skinner or Jade was on the team since both of their beam/bars are basically unusable in the team final. 

Edited by choclatechip45
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5 minutes ago, ombelico said:

Then add on the team composition "strategy" blatantly taking her and her scores for granted, and the fact that this "strategy" was concocted by an organization that didn't protect her from chronic sexual and emotional abuse, and has barely made any effort to correct the problems and culture that led to the abuse, it wouldn't be surprising that a return to the Olympics could become unexpectedly triggering for her. 

Weirdly, I think this team was actually constructed in a way that protected it when this happened. By taking the top 4 AA scores, the "team" was set up to compete if Simone wasn't there. If say a beam specialist who was terrible on bars had been chosen, the result could have been worse.

Team USA definitely counted on Simone to win gold in the team and other events. I think her strength hid just how much the rest of the world was catching-up with Team USA. I'm just not sure that the team could have been designed better around her.

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15 minutes ago, choclatechip45 said:

They clearly should have said no to some of Simone's difficulty and they didn't. In hindsight she probably should have never done the difficult yurchenko vault in competition and kept that in pit like Aimee did.

I don't agree that they should have squashed the Yurchenko double pike. I think it's way to speculative to blame any issues she's having on that vault. If she had been landing it low or was having issues landing it correctly, then yes.  It was a secure vault for her and it made sense to show it competition. Is she supposed to keep doing the same two vaults she's been doing for 6+ years? Then people would complain that "she's been winning with the same two vaults for years, how is she the GOAT?" nonsense.

It also sucked that she was "punished" for the double-double off beam by having the FIG not recognize it's true difficulty. Doesn't make sense to me if the sport is to move forward and evolve. Of course as soon as someone does a half-assed mess af quad wolf turn, it'll be rated an I and be the best thing anyone has ever done.

As far as the rest of her difficulty, she's been performing all of the other skills since at least 2019 when she debuted the triple twisting double tuck. It's not like any of those are skills she just started learning.

Edited by DawnDavenport
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I missed the coverage on TV and have been trying to catch up, but what happened to Max Whitlock?  He was a bronze medalist in All Around last time and won medals in event finals.  It looks like he didn't even enter the All Around qualification this time?  Is he just too old by now and others on his team are better?  I do see he made the pommel horse final.

If Simone Biles had dropped out before the Team Final even started, would the US have been able to put an alternate in her place?   Or was she locked in because she had participated in the qualifications?

Edited by blackwing
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4 minutes ago, DawnDavenport said:

I don't agree that they should have squashed the Yurchenko double pike. I think it's way to speculative to blame any issues she's having on that vault. If she had been landing it low or was having issues landing it correctly, then yes.  It was a secure vault for her and it made sense to show it competition. Is she supposed to keep doing the same two vaults she's been doing for 6+ years? Then people would complain that "she's been winning with the same two vaults for years, how is she the GOAT?" nonsense.

It also sucked that she was "punished" for the double-double off beam by having the FIG not recognize it's true difficulty. Doesn't make sense to me if the sport is to move forward and evolve. Of course as soon as someone does a half-assed mess af quad wolf turn, it'll be rated an I and be the best thing anyone has ever done.

As far as the rest of her difficulty, she's been performing all of the other skills since at least 2019 when she debuted the triple twisting double tuck. It's not like any of those are skills she just started learning.

Fair. I just remember a profile done in 2016 how Aimee would allow her to play around the pit to keep Simone entertained but they wouldn't perform most of those skills in competition. I don't think I've heard anyone complain about Simone doing the Amanar/Cheng and not being the GOAT. She had to upgrade to the cheng to get a Gold in the Olympics in 2016. Based on her past comments I was surprised that she was considering doing the Yurchenko double pike in competition since she had said multiple times doing it in competition scared her. 

 

6 minutes ago, HartofDixie said:

I'm curious if Jade will do the Carey...

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1 hour ago, Dots And Stripes said:

Weirdly, I think this team was actually constructed in a way that protected it when this happened. By taking the top 4 AA scores, the "team" was set up to compete if Simone wasn't there. If say a beam specialist who was terrible on bars had been chosen, the result could have been worse.

Team USA definitely counted on Simone to win gold in the team and other events. I think her strength hid just how much the rest of the world was catching-up with Team USA. I'm just not sure that the team could have been designed better around her.

I actually don't have a problem with the team that they ended up with. Given the (too) small team size, going with 4 solid all-arounders makes sense. The issue is that Tom Forster made public comments to the effect that (paraphrasing) "we don't think it's going to come down to a few tenths" because "we've got Simone." Also, by putting Skinner on as the +1, it basically set it up so that it was assured that Simone's success would come at the cost of her teammate being 2-per-countried out of floor/vault finals.

 

1 hour ago, blackwing said:

If Simone Biles had dropped out before the Team Final even started, would the US have been able to put an alternate in her place?   Or was she locked in because she had participated in the qualifications?

I'm not 100% sure but I think Skinner could have replaced her (but not Carey because of how she qualified in the individual nominative World Cup route). However, I don't think it's fair to say that Simone should have dropped out sooner and by not doing so she was selfishly preventing someone else from taking her spot. (Not saying that this was what you said, it's just a theme I've seen elsewhere.) In the press conference yesterday it really sounded like she thought she was going to be able to do it until vault warmups started and it rapidly went downhill from there.

ETA: on further reflection I don't think Skinner would have been eligible anymore to be named to the team -- moving her to the main team would have had to have happened before qualifying. The US could still have competed if Simone withdrew before the final, they just would have had to compete with all 3 gymnasts doing every event (as happened in the end after vault). So Simone didn't "take away someone's spot" etc., it just meant that Suni and Jordan got shorter notice that they would have to fill in for her on the other events. Under the circumstances I really don't think it's fair to hold that against Simone (and it definitely seems like her teammates don't).

Edited by ombelico
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1 hour ago, ShellsandCheese said:

Great AA Mens final. As for Simone, multiple things can be true at the same time. Clearly, she has not been in the right headspace for some time and in my opinion she should have withdrawn sooner (not gone to Tokyo) and allowed someone to represent the US who was in the right place to successfully participate in the games. Apparently, this is also the very first time that her parents have not gone with her to a competition - so that was probably a factor. And I also put some of the blame on her team who should have recognized this and helped her pivot, instead they all seemed to push her to feed into the storyline that was being pushed about her being this unstoppable unbeatable machine - right down to some of the commercials she was in and sewing a goat on her leotard. 

And call it what you will but it’s also obvious that there are number of athletes who thrive under optimal conditions but seem to really struggle when things are disrupted. 

I do agree that her team perhaps should’ve recognized that there was an issue and intervened. However, in terms of pulling out before Tokyo, I feel like that’s a “hindsight is 20/20” type of thing. If Simone thought that this (mental block in team finals) was a very real possibility, I’m sure she would’ve have pulled out sooner. While she certainly wanted to repeat in the AA, in terms of her legacy, she didn’t have anything prove coming into the games, and as we see with McKayla Maroney and Laurie Hernandez still having commercials, she would still be making money from endorsements if she didn’t compete.
 

So, while I also suspect that these issues have been going on for a while, I don’t think there’s any reason to think that she wasn’t confident that she could make it through the games without a major issue. Similarly, I don’t necessarily think an athlete who snaps their achilles during team finals should’ve pulled out earlier, even though that athlete was probably dealing with achilles pain for a while too. He/she just probably didn’t think it would snap at that moment.

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8 minutes ago, HartofDixie said:

Suni will kick things off, and Jade will be the very end! I hope this competition is as good as the men’s AA because that was so good!

 

4 minutes ago, choclatechip45 said:

I'm curious if Jade will do the Carey...

I wonder if she’ll decide based on where she’s in the standings since she’ll be last to go. I would love to see it!

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3 minutes ago, Jeddah said:

Suni will kick things off, and Jade will be the very end! I hope this competition is as good as the men’s AA because that was so good!

 

I wonder if she’ll decide based on where she’s in the standings since she’ll be last to go. I would love to see it!

As long as she thinks she can do it safely, I'm all for it. I don't think she has a shot for a medal so it won't be as risky as the Floor final. 

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3 minutes ago, choclatechip45 said:

As long as she thinks she can do it safely, I'm all for it. I don't think she has a shot for a medal so it won't be as risky as the Floor final. 

I don't think there's any way she's going to attempt it. The one and only video I saw of it was that is was chocked full of form and landing deductions and she had to start the approach to the skill outside of the floor boundary. Based on that, I would say there is 0% chance she attempts it.

It's more likely to get downgraded to the Biles II if she does based on form alone.

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55 minutes ago, seltzer3 said:

 

 

EVERYONE who says Simone Biles should have just toughed it out because "it's the Olympics" should have to watch this video.   Good heavens.   She is lucky she wasn't paralyzed.

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Is there anything Jade can do about the balance beam score to get her into contention? It looked to me like it was pretty clean in qualifications, and she still got only a few tenths higher than the Russians did when they fell off the beam in finals.

I don't think it's fair to blame the Landis for what's going on with Simone without further information. She has flat-out said that she wanted to learn the new skills to keep things interesting so she continued to enjoy the sport. If she didn't feel challenged, she might not have stayed in up until this point. My guess is that Aimee had a much more parental type relationship with her, which makes sense since she started with Simone when she was young, and the Landis have more of an actual coach relationship where they offer her feedback and support but generally let her make her own calls, which is appropriate for coaching the GOAT gymnast when she is already a fully grown adult. And we have no idea that they didn't pick up on these issues and we don't know that they didn't intervene. Intervention in this type of situation isn't limited to the specific action of preventing her from going to Tokyo. And if Simone Biles wants to go to the Tokyo Olympics even if she doesn't feel a hundred percent, is it really their place or job to tell her no, she's not mentally ready and should let someone else take her spot? Even if they did that, and Simone brought the idea to USAG, we don't think they would have basically begged her to at least try? 

This isn't a simple situation and there isn't one person whose fault it is. Simone seems to sincerely love and trust the Landis, which is the most important thing for someone who has been abused by people in the sport and who knows full well there are still terrible people involved in the sport at all levels. And her coaches clearly supported her withdrawing yesterday rather than encouraging her to go on. 

For that matter, while Simone made lots of mistakes in qualification, she still finished in the top spot. She could have made her way through these games not at her best and still have won quite a bit. It seems like things didn't take a turn from "this isn't going the best but I'm hanging in there: to "I can't safely compete" until yesterday. 

As for the timing of the withdrawal, I could be wrong, but I don't think you can withdraw just for team finals and use a replacement. She would have had to withdraw before the qualifications. Otherwise I'm sure teams would use all sorts of hank panky to mess with team finals line-ups. 

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1 hour ago, Jillibean said:

I don't think it's fair to blame the Landis for what's going on with Simone without further information. She has flat-out said that she wanted to learn the new skills to keep things interesting so she continued to enjoy the sport. If she didn't feel challenged, she might not have stayed in up until this point. My guess is that Aimee had a much more parental type relationship with her, which makes sense since she started with Simone when she was young, and the Landis have more of an actual coach relationship where they offer her feedback and support but generally let her make her own calls, which is appropriate for coaching the GOAT gymnast when she is already a fully grown adult. And we have no idea that they didn't pick up on these issues and we don't know that they didn't intervene. Intervention in this type of situation isn't limited to the specific action of preventing her from going to Tokyo. And if Simone Biles wants to go to the Tokyo Olympics even if she doesn't feel a hundred percent, is it really their place or job to tell her no, she's not mentally ready and should let someone else take her spot? Even if they did that, and Simone brought the idea to USAG, we don't think they would have basically begged her to at least try? 

This. The Landis seem to be nothing but supportive and excellent coaches, plus they are Chiles' coaches. Wasn't Laurent also Madison Kocian's coach in Rio? 

If I remember correctly Aimee actually recommended or had a say in who Simone's coaches should be when she left the gym to ensure Simone was in good hands.

Wasn't there an interview or statement from Laurent where he said Simone has to convince him it's ok for her to do the Yurchenko double in Tokyo? It seems to me they have an excellent athlete-coach relationship. 

Edited by DawnDavenport
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I think Simone is the type who enjoys wowing people with tumbling. It's as much a part of her personality as Steph Curry loving those 30 foot bombs.

I do think however that for someone with millions in endorsements and adulation from around the world, that she (and many other elite gymnasts) are actually extremely sheltered and lacking in many life experiences. As I said, I was shocked that she's 24 and has never traveled on her own to competition -- she's always had parents with her. Never taken a vacation alone. Her parents even built her a gym so she'd never have to go far to train. So I think being in Tokyo is way harder for Simone than she expected. 

But Simone's made her decision so I think we should just respect it and focus on what it looking to be a very tight AA competition. Lots of potential medalists. I'm rooting for Suni -- I love her bar work. 

 

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6 minutes ago, DawnDavenport said:

This. The Landis seem to be nothing but supportive and excellent coaches, plus they are Chiles' coaches. Wasn't Laurent also Madison Kocian's coach in Rio? 

If I remember correctly Aimee actually recommended or had a say in who Simone's coaches should be when she left the gym to ensure Simone was in good hands.

Wasn't there an interview for statement from Laurent where he said Simone has to convince him it's ok for her to do the Yurchenko double in Tokyo? It seems to me they have an excellent athlete-coach relationship. 

Yup Laurent/Cecille coached Madison and Alyssa Bauman. I don't like Cecille because she went on twitter during the Heavy Medals podcast and tried to flame the rumors that she heard about the backroom deals for the Rio Olympic Selection which I thought was not cool since twitter was piling on a certain gymnast. I don't think Aimee had a say. From the recent profiles Rhonda Faehn recommended the Landi's to Nellie (Simone's mother) who had another coach in mind.

19 minutes ago, Jillibean said:

Is there anything Jade can do about the balance beam score to get her into contention? It looked to me like it was pretty clean in qualifications, and she still got only a few tenths higher than the Russians did when they fell off the beam in finals.

I don't think it's fair to blame the Landis for what's going on with Simone without further information. She has flat-out said that she wanted to learn the new skills to keep things interesting so she continued to enjoy the sport. If she didn't feel challenged, she might not have stayed in up until this point. My guess is that Aimee had a much more parental type relationship with her, which makes sense since she started with Simone when she was young, and the Landis have more of an actual coach relationship where they offer her feedback and support but generally let her make her own calls, which is appropriate for coaching the GOAT gymnast when she is already a fully grown adult. And we have no idea that they didn't pick up on these issues and we don't know that they didn't intervene. Intervention in this type of situation isn't limited to the specific action of preventing her from going to Tokyo. And if Simone Biles wants to go to the Tokyo Olympics even if she doesn't feel a hundred percent, is it really their place or job to tell her no, she's not mentally ready and should let someone else take her spot? Even if they did that, and Simone brought the idea to USAG, we don't think they would have basically begged her to at least try? 

This isn't a simple situation and there isn't one person whose fault it is. Simone seems to sincerely love and trust the Landis, which is the most important thing for someone who has been abused by people in the sport and who knows full well there are still terrible people involved in the sport at all levels. And her coaches clearly supported her withdrawing yesterday rather than encouraging her to go on. 

For that matter, while Simone made lots of mistakes in qualification, she still finished in the top spot. She could have made her way through these games not at her best and still have won quite a bit. It seems like things didn't take a turn from "this isn't going the best but I'm hanging in there: to "I can't safely compete" until yesterday. 

As for the timing of the withdrawal, I could be wrong, but I don't think you can withdraw just for team finals and use a replacement. She would have had to withdraw before the qualifications. Otherwise I'm sure teams would use all sorts of hank panky to mess with team finals line-ups. 

I don't think there is much Jade can do. She got hammered on leaps and I don't think she can fix that in such a short time period. Grace was able to fix her issue because she left out required elements. 

Edited by choclatechip45
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I think they also need to consider the 4 gymnast rule and how they score.  And somebody please correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding of either:

I've long said that the scoring is messed up - somebody as good as Simone can basically fall and still win gold because the degree of difficulty is so high. And as good as somebody like Simone may be, I've never agreed with that because it just seemed odd.  If I fall in competition, how am I on top of the medal podium next to somebody who is flawless, but had one less half twist or whatever?  But there's another side to that.  If people are noticing that somebody is starting to struggle, which now everybody claims they did (grain of salt there, but okay), but they knew that "hey, it's Simone, she'll pull it together, plus we even have some wiggle room because she can mess it up and we'll still come out on top, it's okay!" then there's something fundamentally wrong there.  If puts additional pressure on an already struggling gymnast and adds to the toxic environment of gold at all costs (if Simone hadn't advocated for herself, would she have been pulled out?  Imagine if she hadn't...).  For comparison - Vanessa Atler did not go to Sydney and in her case it was the mental games and they knew she couldn't do it on the world stage of the Olympics and in what was honestly a somewhat weaker quad, it was probably okay.  But if Vanessa had the talent of Simone, the current scoring system...I'm willing to be money that she would have been on that Sydney team and it would have been a horror show.  

Which then brings me to the team of 4, 3 up, 3 scores count.  The team is too small, period.  For all the "it gives other countries a chance" talk, there are other ways to structure that opportunity without putting the pressure on the smaller team.  I'd love to see them go back to 7, or even 6.  7 and top 4 scores count, drop the bottom 3 or something.  Expand the AA or some such thing.  This 4 person team makes no sense at all and only creates a more cut-throat environment, not a better opportunity.  At least not from where I'm sitting.  

Simone stepping down is probably the goatiest thing a GOAT could do for so many reasons.  I LOVE the support she is getting from the athletic community, it's amazing. 

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4 minutes ago, Jillibean said:

Is there anything Jade can do about the balance beam score to get her into contention? It looked to me like it was pretty clean in qualifications, and she still got only a few tenths higher than the Russians did when they fell off the beam in finals.

I don't think it's fair to blame the Landis for what's going on with Simone without further information. She has flat-out said that she wanted to learn the new skills to keep things interesting so she continued to enjoy the sport. If she didn't feel challenged, she might not have stayed in up until this point. My guess is that Aimee had a much more parental type relationship with her, which makes sense since she started with Simone when she was young, and the Landis have more of an actual coach relationship where they offer her feedback and support but generally let her make her own calls, which is appropriate for coaching the GOAT gymnast when she is already a fully grown adult. And we have no idea that they didn't pick up on these issues and we don't know that they didn't intervene. Intervention in this type of situation isn't limited to the specific action of preventing her from going to Tokyo. And if Simone Biles wants to go to the Tokyo Olympics even if she doesn't feel a hundred percent, is it really their place or job to tell her no, she's not mentally ready and should let someone else take her spot? Even if they did that, and Simone brought the idea to USAG, we don't think they would have basically begged her to at least try? 

This isn't a simple situation and there isn't one person whose fault it is. Simone seems to sincerely love and trust the Landis, which is the most important thing for someone who has been abused by people in the sport and who knows full well there are still terrible people involved in the sport at all levels. And her coaches clearly supported her withdrawing yesterday rather than encouraging her to go on. 

For that matter, while Simone made lots of mistakes in qualification, she still finished in the top spot. She could have made her way through these games not at her best and still have won quite a bit. It seems like things didn't take a turn from "this isn't going the best but I'm hanging in there: to "I can't safely compete" until yesterday. 

As for the timing of the withdrawal, I could be wrong, but I don't think you can withdraw just for team finals and use a replacement. She would have had to withdraw before the qualifications. Otherwise I'm sure teams would use all sorts of hank panky to mess with team finals line-ups. 

I guess in a way yes and no. I mean. they could have said no, I don't think you should go - but then She could have just fired them and found someone who would let her go, right? (I've heard of athletes changing coaches as often as they change shoes because of something or another). (I don't think she's that type of person but i mean. at the end of the day Simone's the boss yeh?)

I saw the tail-end of Simone's... well not fluff-piece (Info-piece) of what happened when she came out that she was abused etc, and from what I gathered she thought she was done in 2020, and then she decided to come back because she felt that it was good to be active so they couldn't ignore the problems (in regards to the abuse etc and changes would happen). Which is fantastic and admirable etc that Simone wanted to be the face of change etc - but at the same time. if she mentally thought she was done, and she came back for those reasons, was she really back for the right Sport reasons? (Does this make sense?)  Like with all the mistakes etc she was making this year, maybe that was just her mind/body telling her like no. this isn't right, you should stop until it got to the Olympics and her body is like bitch, enough. listen to me. (my body did that last week, i was sick for months, and it went bitch, get to the hospital - which was a good thing i did because i was severely anemic. My body was sending me signals for months and i kept thinking it was other things and other factors, and you just shrug these things off). 

Like. I just wonder... if she came back because she wanted to Exclamation Point her legacy and be the first woman in like eons to win back to back Olympic Titles and yada yadayada and it was just about her, and competing, and Olympic experiences etc, even with the wonky situations that's in Tokyo right now it would have been mentally different than being a Gymnastic Activist (what i wanted to say just jumped out of my head). and performing for change, and what not in USA Gymnastics, etc. 

I have to say - I was only 2 years younger than Simone when i travelled by myself for the first time in life (and i mean by that point I had gone away to University (but only 1.5 hrs away) etc, so when I went to Korea for a year even though i was mentally prepared for it it threw me over. so yah i mean if they were able to be with Simone for so long  - it doesn't surprise me that Simone hasn't done much on her own w/o her parents. 

Again - at any rate, I think its a good thing since she wasn't mentally there and had the twisties that she pulled out etc. I can also understand some of the arguments because if this was evident at Trials etc, maybe someone should have been eehhhhh i don't know. But honestly with any athlete of great caliber like that you are going to tend to err on the side of "They had a bad night, they'll be fantastic when it counts." vs. "Well let's not take her." (as an organization i mean).  And it's hindsight to say Simone should have done it at Trials and let someone else go instead. 

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The team is going back to being 5 members in 2024. That’s still too small, but it’s better than 4. 

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6 minutes ago, BrindaWalsh said:

I think they also need to consider the 4 gymnast rule and how they score.  And somebody please correct me if I'm wrong in my understanding of either:

I've long said that the scoring is messed up - somebody as good as Simone can basically fall and still win gold because the degree of difficulty is so high. And as good as somebody like Simone may be, I've never agreed with that because it just seemed odd.  If I fall in competition, how am I on top of the medal podium next to somebody who is flawless, but had one less half twist or whatever?  But there's another side to that.  If people are noticing that somebody is starting to struggle, which now everybody claims they did (grain of salt there, but okay), but they knew that "hey, it's Simone, she'll pull it together, plus we even have some wiggle room because she can mess it up and we'll still come out on top, it's okay!" then there's something fundamentally wrong there.  If puts additional pressure on an already struggling gymnast and adds to the toxic environment of gold at all costs (if Simone hadn't advocated for herself, would she have been pulled out?  Imagine if she hadn't...).  For comparison - Vanessa Atler did not go to Sydney and in her case it was the mental games and they knew she couldn't do it on the world stage of the Olympics and in what was honestly a somewhat weaker quad, it was probably okay.  But if Vanessa had the talent of Simone, the current scoring system...I'm willing to be money that she would have been on that Sydney team and it would have been a horror show.  

Which then brings me to the team of 4, 3 up, 3 scores count.  The team is too small, period.  For all the "it gives other countries a chance" talk, there are other ways to structure that opportunity without putting the pressure on the smaller team.  I'd love to see them go back to 7, or even 6.  7 and top 4 scores count, drop the bottom 3 or something.  Expand the AA or some such thing.  This 4 person team makes no sense at all and only creates a more cut-throat environment, not a better opportunity.  At least not from where I'm sitting.  

Simone stepping down is probably the goatiest thing a GOAT could do for so many reasons.  I LOVE the support she is getting from the athletic community, it's amazing. 

You are right. In the Worlds All-Around in 2015 I believe Simone hands touch the beam and still beat Gabby because Simone's difficulty on beam, floor and vault were so much higher. 

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Rooting for Jade and Suni.  In terms of underdogs, is anyone rooting for Nina Derwael?  She was on the eighth place Belgium team but tied Suni for the highest  score on bars and generally seemed consistent from team finals, I'm hoping to see some of her.

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3 minutes ago, BrindaWalsh said:

For comparison - Vanessa Atler did not go to Sydney and in her case it was the mental games and they knew she couldn't do it on the world stage of the Olympics and in what was honestly a somewhat weaker quad, it was probably okay.  But if Vanessa had the talent of Simone, the current scoring system...I'm willing to be money that she would have been on that Sydney team and it would have been a horror show.  

I remember that. 
Atler wasn't Simone level but wasn't she touted to be like the Next Big Thing? (But Elise Ray was much more consistent and better that Olympic year?)

I have to say it could work the other way too - the athlete could blame the organization for ruining their one chance and use that as their weapon every time they had a melt down.  Emmanual Sandhu 100000000 percent comes to mind. FSC kept him off the team in 1998 even though he won the Trials that year (or was 2nd - he earned a bearth), but they decided that they wanted to send a more experienced mens team to Nagano and for 4 years he was pissed off and said how they stole his chance for him and he was ready and he'd totally prove everyone wrong - and almost every major competition when it counted - Sandhu blew up. (heck. he even blew up once on So You Think You Can Dance, Canada), and almost every time he talked about it he goes back how in 98....

like it's such a tricky tricky thing . 

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So there's a huge uproar in Chinese media about how the mens' AA was scored, especially about Daiki's vault score.

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18 minutes ago, BrindaWalsh said:

Which then brings me to the team of 4, 3 up, 3 scores count.  The team is too small, period.  For all the "it gives other countries a chance" talk, there are other ways to structure that opportunity without putting the pressure on the smaller team.  I'd love to see them go back to 7, or even 6.  7 and top 4 scores count, drop the bottom 3 or something.  Expand the AA or some such thing.  This 4 person team makes no sense at all and only creates a more cut-throat environment, not a better opportunity.  At least not from where I'm sitting.  

Agreed.  As I've said before I do think teams need to be bigger.  I like the 2000 format: 6 person, 4 up, 3 count.  If they really don't want countries padding their teams with specialists, there should be a two apparatus minimum per gymnast in Team finals.  That way no one is over exhausted.

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26 minutes ago, Daisy said:

I remember that. 
Atler wasn't Simone level but wasn't she touted to be like the Next Big Thing? (But Elise Ray was much more consistent and better that Olympic year?)

Unfortunately, Atler was a bit of a headcase and had major issues with consistency throughout her career, especially on bars. At the time she was considered one of the most naturally talented US gymnasts ever, just couldn't put it together when it counted.

She suffered a major ankle injury in early 1999 that set her back and by the time 2000 trials rolled around, she had deteriorated on her best events: vault and floor. Lots of folks thought she was unfairly left off the team but in hindsight it was the right decision.

She was berated by her coach, Steve Rybacki, on national television during the 1999 Nationals and she immediately left the Rybacki gym right after, went to Worlds and had promising start, ended up 32nd in the AA. Turns out her ankle wasn't truly healed and she had to have surgery right after.

There is a link at the Balance Beam Situation website that recaps the 2000 Olympic Trials and how much of a hot mess that quad was for the US:

https://balancebeamsituation.com/2015/06/24/2000-olympic-trials-special-victims-unit/

https://balancebeamsituation.com/2015/07/04/2000-olympic-trials-part-2-shes-still-not-ok/

Ironically, this was the first year they started the team coordinator position and it was Bela then. So it's interesting to see how/why that position started. 

Edited by DawnDavenport
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4 minutes ago, Lady Whistleup said:

So there's a huge uproar in Chinese media about how the mens' AA was scored, especially about Daiki's vault score.

That vault was good and it deserved that score. 
What they should be mad at is that twice now the men got dinged for not saluting the judges, and it really hurt one of the guys scores today.

 

4 minutes ago, kittykat said:

Agreed.  As I've said before I do think teams need to be bigger.  I like the 2000 format: 6 person, 4 up, 3 count.  If they really don't want countries padding their teams with specialists, there should be a two apparatus minimum per gymnast in Team finals.  That way no one is over exhausted.

I agree i think that was a good format. or even 6-5-4. (but you need to do 2 apparatuses). 4 is just... it's not a team in my opinion. 

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12 minutes ago, kittykat said:

Agreed.  As I've said before I do think teams need to be bigger.  I like the 2000 format: 6 person, 4 up, 3 count.  If they really don't want countries padding their teams with specialists, there should be a two apparatus minimum per gymnast in Team finals.  That way no one is over exhausted.

Was Sydney 4 up, 3 count or 5 up, 4 count? I can’t remember. Regardless, I agree with the 4 up, 3 count. Thats a good format.

I don’t think there should an apparatus minimum per gymnast, however. I also don’t think every member should have to compete at all. I think specialists are fine - it would’ve been a travesty if McKayla Maroney’s vault wasn’t at the Olympics due to an arbitrary rule. And on the other hand, if a team legitimately has 4 amazing AA gymnasts, like Russia in 2000, why shouldn’t they be able to just use those 4 and sit the other 2? I feel like beyond setting the format for finals, the FIG should have no say in how teams or lineups are constructed. 

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12 minutes ago, Jess14 said:

Was Sydney 4 up, 3 count or 5 up, 4 count? I can’t remember. Regardless, I agree with the 4 up, 3 count. Thats a good format.

I don’t think there should an apparatus minimum per gymnast, however. I also don’t think every member should have to compete at all. I think specialists are fine - it would’ve been a travesty if McKayla Maroney’s vault wasn’t at the Olympics due to an arbitrary rule. And on the other hand, if a team legitimately has 4 amazing AA gymnasts, like Russia in 2000, why shouldn’t they be able to just use those 4 and sit the other 2? I feel like beyond setting the format for finals, the FIG should have no say in how teams or lineups are constructed. 

Sydney was 6-5-4. Atlanta was when the teams were their largest: 7-6-5. I think this was the first Olympiad that allowed event specialists, Before that, everyone had to be a all-arounder. That's what allowed Amy Chow and Amanda Borden onto the '96 team. They each only did two events: Chow did vault and bars, Borden did beam and floor with the remaining 5 doing all 4 events.

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That's what I mean, specialists are allowed but they have to be able to hit another routine well.  That's the risk right?  Picking an all arounder with consistent scores or the specialist with a guaranteed high score but they also have to hit something else well too.

And it's not just team.  The gymnasts need to have energy and not be injured for their individual events, which is why it's nice for team members to share the load and not have the pressure to do all four in team.

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How stupid is Yahoo. Headline about Suni Lee and how she’s replacing Simone in the AA.

I get that gymnastics can be confusing and hard to follow with the constant rule changes and COP changes throughout the years. But this is basic, basic stuff. There’s no excuse.

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5 hours ago, Jess14 said:

If she’s unsure of herself, she really needs to be able to throw some vaults and floor passes into a pit, not just a soft mat. I assume they don’t have access to that in the regular Olympic training gym(s).

During the diving competition, they showed their warm up area and they had trampolines and foam pits.  I would think gymnasts would have them available as well.  

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10 minutes ago, kittykat said:

That's what I mean, specialists are allowed but they have to be able to hit another routine well.  That's the risk right?  Picking an all arounder with consistent scores or the specialist with a guaranteed high score but they also have to hit something else well too.

And it's not just team.  The gymnasts need to have energy and not be injured for their individual events, which is why it's nice for team members to share the load and not have the pressure to do all four in team.

Believe me, I get the preference for AAers, but is there any basis for the notion that gymnasts are too tired to compete their individual events if they carry a higher load in team finals? Just looking at the US team, Carly Patterson did fine in AA/BB finals, Simone did fine in all of her event finals and AA in 2016,  Nastia and Shawn performed very well in their later events. Gabby did well in the AA. While she stumbled in her other events, I think it’s speculative to assume she would’ve hit her EF routines if Maroney had been forced to do floor on one leg in TF or had they subbed in an alternate, especially since Gabby had never been the most consistent gymnast on the national team.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to see gymnasts share the load in TFs too, but I just think mandates create more issues than they solve. Coaches are rarely going to take a gymnast who can only contribute one event in TFs unless that gymnast is truly world class and their score on that event is too high to leave off or unless the remaining teammates are simply better on the other 3 events and maximize the scores. In that case, they’re not going to put up a gymnast who can’t score as high just to share the load. 

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Well in all this talk about mental health it was discouraging to see some of the comments and threats being directed towards Daiki Hashimoto on social media. Accusations he cheated and bribed the judges, nasty comments, some threats ... Crazy. It's important to remember that men struggle mentally too. Suicide/depression in Japan is actually a huge social problem.

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14 hours ago, Conotocarious said:

She was losing her air awareness, meaning she had no idea where she was in the air. With the skills she does, she could end up with a devastating injury or even a fatal one . It has happened before, with gymnasts in the past. If your aren’t on your mental game in basketball, you play lousy. In gymnastics, you could end up paralyzed. If you are not familiar with gymnastics look up Julissa Gomez and Elena Mukhina. 

Watch the replay of her vault. There is absolutely a WTF on her face when she realizes she is landing and not still twisting. It’s really scary.

On another note, that press conference was really cute. How many times can they say “At the end of the day”. They need to do a whole Les Miserables song with gymnastics lyrics. 

Thanks for the explanation. It's a different story if health and safety are involved.

 

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On 7/25/2021 at 8:08 PM, theredhead77 said:

Has anyone been able to identify the brand and style of the backpacks the USA women's team is using?

 

On 7/25/2021 at 8:23 PM, tanyak said:

I’d like to know, too!

It's Nike but I haven't been able to find the style yet. As far as I can tell it's not on the Nike website.

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