Thursday, August 11, 2016

Leave the girls alone!

You never do anything right
You never put anything in its place
No wonder everyone calls you
Failure Face.

From "Failure Face", from "A Boy Named Charlie Brown". 

Gymnast Simone Biles is predicted to win five--yes, five--gold medals in this Olympics.  As I write this, she's competing in the all-around event of women's gymnastics.  

She is 19 years old and considered the best female gymnast of all time.

But predicting five gold medals for her is setting her up to be a failure face.

Because, no matter what she does, no matter how many gold medals she wins, no matter how many Olympic medals she wins, the story is not going to be what she won.  The story will be, why didn't she win the five gold medals she was predicted to win?  

Gabby Douglas is having a similar problem.

Four years ago, in London, she became the first African-American gymnast to win the all-around gold medal.  

Within 24 hours, the Internet was abuzz about. . . . Her hair.  

Apparently, something was wrong with Gabby because she was using hair gel on her hair.  

Tuesday night, the American girls became the first American team to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in team gymnastics.  Because this is Martha Karolyi's final Olympics, they have named their team the "Final Five".  

The Internet is now abuzz about not only Gabby's hair, but the fact that she didn't put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem.   

I did check the US Flag Code, and the code does say that non-military people, during the playing of the National Anthem, should face the flag and put their right hand over their heart.  

While researching the Flag Code, I came upon a mention of Barack Obama's failure to put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem in a now-infamous picture that has since circulated the Internet to show his supposed lack of patriotism.  He was quoted as saying, "I was taught that you put your hand over your heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, but during the National Anthem, you sing."

I'll give Gabby the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps that was how she learned it as well.  I will say that she stood at attention and was respectful.  

As for her hair . . . I'm a white woman, and I don't completely understand the fuss over the hair.  I will say that she has to keep her hair out of her eyes when she's performing.  Her hair gets in her eyes, she can't see; she can't see, at the least, she makes a mistake on her apparatus; at worst, she gets hurt on her apparatus!

Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas are in an impossible position.  No matter what they do, someone is not going to be happy with them.

Gabby is 20.  Simone is 19.  They are at the pinnacle of their gymnastics careers.  They have achieved what only five women in the United States can achieve every four years.

Give them a break.

Leave the girls alone!

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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