Real Life Heroines Series: Hero or Hoax?

Simone Biles: Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast




So as it goes, if you are darn near perfect at any one thing, let alone everything, people will eventually come for your funk. Such is the case with Simone Biles, soaring off a fantastic 2016 Olympic Season in Rio to participate on Dancing With the Stars.  Cue Kanye’s: “Stronger”.

Yeah, so she did the show a solid. What did it do for her?

After weeks of cruising atop the DWTS scoreboard, Simone Biles was eliminated on Monday night just short of the finals round. Despite receiving a perfect 40 score that evening, many continued to focus on a prior incident having nailed Simone’s coffin.  Right before the semi-finals, host Tom Bergeron commented his surprise that Biles did not smile during the judge’s compliments. Biles boldly retorted, “smiling doesn’t win you gold medals”.

Really there was nothing wrong with what Biles said except in was spoken assertively and with merit. If there is one thing the collective conscious does not like, it is when a woman like Simone Biles speaks with confidence about something she can back up. You see, people who make comments like Bergeron’s believe that people like Biles are lucky to accomplish things, any…things. They believe with luck (not hard work) there should come a certain amount of humility, especially if one is woman, black, a woman who is black and Simone Biles.

In Bergeron’s defense, he apologized via social media shortly thereafter. However, Bergeron’s comment put Biles in a snafu, making it difficult for her to maintain the effervescent personality that has steadily aided in the propping up of her reputation.  Furthermore, Biles’s persona has been unfairly compared to Gabby Douglas, the first female black gymnast to win Olympic all-around gold in 2012. In Rio, Douglas seemed to suffer in maintaining her momentum, finishing superbly beneath her teammates at the end of the games with what was considered a sullen disposition. She was expected to exude a cheery approach to difficulty, like Simone Biles did during the Olympic Games.

The question begs; was the bubbly attitude Biles maintained during her gymnastic career, fake?

I think not. After DWTS elimination, Biles was briefly interviewed by ABC about her disappointing loss. Biles made it clear that her time on the competitive dance show resulted in a growth experience. The four-time Olympic gold-medalist says she was able to find out “who Simone really is” outside of gymnastics. I love it!

While Biles clearly displayed a little ‘tude in her response to such a nonsensical remark, it was clear that she was promoting a winner’s attitude all the same. It takes bravery and grit to turn an L into a life lesson.

Therefore, I say today, yesterday and most likely forever, Simone Biles will continue to display an indomitable spirit, thus rendering her a heroine in her own right.





photo: NBC Olympics

post: Nat P. for The Journeyed Heroine


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