Letter: Delete your Twitter account, Simone
American gymnast Simone Biles is a victim of social media mobs, bad coaching, and possibly the Russians.
She has withdrawn from the Olympic all-around individual gymnastics competition in addition to the team competition due to mental health concerns.
What isn’t being covered very well in the news is how much she struggled with troll gangs on social media which were aggressively targeting her in the run-up to the Olympics. She even made some little video to try to fight back. She was unable to turn it off and focus. It ruined her mentally and physically.
This is on top of intense, nonstop media scrutiny with endless speculation about her potential failures. Perhaps the media’s silence on the subject is due to its culpability.
My guess is that in part, these mobs were sponsored by those who would benefit the most, the Russians who were able to take gold in her absence.
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While it may sound like a conspiracy theory, It is not like the Russians haven’t done this sort of thing before. They certainly used social media to turn this country on its head over two elections.
And the Olympics are a very big deal to them.
In the last winter Olympics, they went so far as to dig a tunnel into the testing labs so they could swap out their athlete’s urine samples that showed the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs, with clean samples.
It isn’t beyond them. It is right up their alley.
I see this as a coaching failure as well. Good coaches block athletes from engaging in social media or watching the news during competition. It is done in the pros, but in this day and age I don’t think it could be done with Olympic athletes from the USA … something like it would violate their rights to be cut off from their phones.
This is a person who couldn’t be beaten by any other means than to destroy her sanity. She executed moves that were even beyond what male gymnasts can do.
I hope she gets better and deletes her twitter account.