Hardships: blood disease, homelessness, moved to Iowa, injuries. Guess who.
The Flying Monkey seems to have landed
And now we’ll wait and see what kind of black mark she’ll put on this sport
A WestDesMoinesPatch.com article on January 7, 2013 says that Gabby Douglas has been out of the gym for eight months, and the reporter wonders, “Can [she] still make Rio in 2016?” This shows you the journalistic intellect that comes out of Cornfield County.
Of course The FM can’t make Rio in 2016, any more than Nasty, or Gabby’s West Des Moines sidekick dimwit Shawn could make London in 2012. The Patch reporter, Beth Dalbey, notes that Gabby “likely won’t be returning the [sic] gym in the foreseeable future.” Staying out of the gym = staying out of the Olympics, so don’t ask dumb questions, Beth.
Instead, Gabby’s enjoying “for herself all the sunshine stuff,” her coach, Chalkbucket Chow, was quoted in the article as saying.
Blood disease, homeless, Iowa, injuries
After a few paragraphs on everything Gabby won in London and her endorsement deals with Procter & Gamble, Nike, Kellogg Co. and AT&T, Dalbey quotes Gabby in The Christian Post: “Stories about [the fact they were homeless, according to her mother], that was my motivation. … People are out there going through tough times. I went through hardships like a blood disease, homelessness, moved to Iowa, injuries and I had to overcome all of those things to get to where I am today.”
I like how she includes “moved to Iowa” along with a blood disease, homelessness and injuries. She’s obviously forgotten that moving to Iowa is what got her in the position to be interviewed by The Christian Post in the first place. That move got her a book and endorsement deals and no telling how much cash. Chow pulled off a miracle, and if moving to Iowa was a hardship, I can line up about five million girls Gabby’s age who would kill to have it so bad.
(I wouldn’t be one of the girls, although I would appreciate the money.)
God gives “God-given talent”
Dalbey then explains that The Flying Monkey is a “devout Christian,” which is no surprise: every black person who bursts into the public eye is a “devout Christian.” Gabby tells The Christian Post that it’s important for her to praise God “because He’s given me this God-given talent to go out there and represent Him and share my faith with everyone.”
God gave her God-given talent. (Rolling eyes.) So now she’s representing God by collecting money. Hey, I’m not knocking her for wanting to be rich – we should all have a similar aspiration. It’s just that so far, in her whirlwind, post-Olympic antics, I haven’t seen much of the evangelist in her. If she wants to share her faith with everyone, she should become a Jehovah’s Witness.
Then she says something even more idiotic: “I would hope that people take away from my legacy, my story or even my book, Grace, Gold and Glory that you can achieve your dreams if you just trust and believe in yourself 100 percent.”
“Legacy”? She turned 17 on December 31. Seventeen-year-olds don’t have “legacies.” They have books and endorsement deals. Miriam-Webster.com says a “legacy” is:
“Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past <the legacy of the ancient philosophers>”
Gabby’s been set back 32 months
Dalbey wonders if Gabby’s chances of competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are diminished by being out of the gym for eight months. Octavian Bellu answered this question somewhere, can’t remember where (paraphrase): If you miss a week of training, it sets you back a month.
Assuming Bellu knows what he’s talking about, Gabby so far has been set back about 32 months. And anyway, as it is (incorrectly) pointed out in the Patch article, “No Olympic champion has gone on to compete at the next Summer Games.” (Nadia was in Montreal and Moscow.) Age was likely the reason for Davydova, Shushunova and Nasty to not come back, whether or not any of them will admit it.
Age didn’t have to be a factor for Mary Who, Gutsu, Andreea Raducan and Karen Carpenter Patterson. Here are the ages of all the Olympic AA gold-medalists in the modern era, at the time they won:
Elena Davydova 18
Mary Lou Retton 16
Elena Shushunova 19
Tatiana Gutsu 15 (unless her age was falsified)
Lilia Podkopayeva 17
Andreea Raducan 16
Vanessa Atler 17 (Ha ha – just kidding.)
Carly Patterson 16
Nastia Liukin 18
The Flying Monkey 16
As you can see from this list, only one gymnast pushing 20 won the Olympic title, and the only reason she won it was because she had the best night of her entire career, which can happen to anybody at any time. (See Nasty in Beijing.)
By 20 years old, a gymnast no longer has what it takes to compete and win across four events. Fast twitch muscle fibers are not as fast, reaction time has slowed down, old age is setting in and the joints are becoming stiff. Of course, I mean this all relatively – a 20-year-old international-level gymnast in training is in far better shape than 97 percent of the population.
But she’s not in the same shape she was in at 16. Or 14. Or 9 (see Kim Gawng Suk).
I think I got sidetracked. The point of all this is that whether or not Gabby’s “God-given gifts” hold up and she gets back in the gym and starts using them, her mortal body isn’t going to hold up, making it unlikely she’ll be on the floor in Rio. Instant celebrity and the inevitable social crash that’s on the way make it even less likely.
Which is good news for most of us here.
Finally, Chalkbucket Chow says he’s not holding his breath, that he’s not making any predictions about Gabby until she’s back in the gym. Dalbey of the Patch quotes Bela Karolyi – but doesn’t give the context, so this may or may not pertain to The FM – as saying, “Gymnastics at this level cannot be done halfway or not even 90 percent dedication.”
Meanwhile, Chow has turned his attention to three upcoming protégés, Norah Flatley, Alexis Vasquez and Rachel Gowry, who are “promising for Rio,” according to Dalbey.
Alexis Vasquez. A Mexican. Just what we need after Gabby.