Tuesday/ the harmfulness of excessive hype

‘By withdrawing from two Olympic events, Biles joined a growing group of elite athletes who have rejected a long tradition of stoicism’.
– The New York Times @nytimes on Twitter


This afternoon, NBC showed the fateful vault jump of superstar* gymnast Simone Biles (24) again. She did not complete her somersaults and stumbled badly on the landing. This prompted her to withdraw from participating with her team, citing her mental well-being/ bad state of mind. She still watched and supported them. (Biles later explained that she experienced ‘the twisties’:  a loss of one’s sense of space and orientation while in the air. It could make for a very bad landing and serious injuries).

I say: give her a break.
Kudos to her teammates that came close to claim the gold for Team USA, but had to settle for silver.

*Here’s reader Lecteur from France, commenting on the NYT article: ‘Obviously Americans have freedom of speech, but perhaps it would be salutary for them to recognize the harmfulness of excessive hype, including applying the Greatest of All Time label, to athletes still performing‘.

Composite picture of the vault done by Simone Biles, and all that went wrong with it. Biles had planned to do an Amanar, a difficult vault with two-and-a-half twists. But, she said, she lost her bearings in the air. She completed only one-and-a-half twists, then stumbled out of her landing. [Text by New York Times; Photographs by Emily Rhyne; Composite image by Jon Huang]

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