Despite my inability to do a cartwheel or even a handstand, I am NBC’s demographic for Team USA Women’s Gymnastics. I was born in 1985 and the Magnificent Seven of the Atlanta Olympics took gold at an impressionable age for me. Combine that with a display of flashy hair accessories and undoubtedly no sport holds my attention like women’s Olympic gymnastics.
After viewing day one of the “Fab Five” I find myself turning off the TV not with the usual admiration and inspiration of witnessing others dreams realized, but with outrage.
Making Jordyn Wieber listen to Gabby Douglas’ and Aly Raisman’s interviews as she stood behind them and cried is the meanest thing I have seen on television.
A controversial rule states that only two team members from each country may compete for all around. So even though Wieber’s score place her in the top 24 she cannot compete for all around because Douglas and Raisman scored higher.
She is clearly emotional. Disappointed to not qualify for all around, but still happy for her teammates good performances. Sheis the world champion and at the Olympics, but she hasn’t met her goal. She is in-the-moment sad/big-picture happy. She is happy for/envious of her teammates. Yes, her teammates who have become her friends. Oh the emotions! So many! They’re conflicting! And they’re coming down her face on international television in the form of tears!
After the scores came in she couldn’t help but cry. As the team moved around the arena to do interviews Jordyn tried to step to the side to compose herself, but was directed to follow her teammates. I don’t know whose call it was to have Jordyn standing in frame for both Aly’s and Gabby’s interviews, but it was such an uncool move. The commentator even pointed out between the two qualifiers’ interviews that it still wasn’t time for Jordyn’s interview. The camera zoomed in on her crying and attempting to pull herself together before she had to speak into a microphone with the world watching about how she didn’t meet her goal but two of her friends did!
This is what bullying is!
After a bad day at work I’ve been able to openly weep in my PJs when I get home, call my mom on the walk back from the office, or at the very least have some “cry alone in the bathroom” time on lunch break. I wish the meanies over at North Greenwich Arena had afforded Jordyn Wieber the same courtesy.
And Jordyn, you performed magnificently and deserve to be in all around with Aly and Gabby. You and Team USA will come home with a gold medal. You are this generation’s Kerri Strug.