Simone Biles named 'Athlete of the Year' despite not competing

The announcement of TIME's Athlete of the Year leads many to wonder why the award was given to an athlete who chose not to compete.


TIME Magazine has named US gymnast Simone Biles 2021 Athlete of the Year. After pulling out of multiple events at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health, Biles returned for the balance beam final to win a Bronze medal.

"I wasn't expecting to walk away with a medal. I was just going out there to do this for me and whatever happens, happens," Biles said after competition.

Bile's teammate Sunisa Lee, stepped up in her absence and won gold.

The announcement of TIME's Athlete of the Year leads many to wonder why the award was given to an athlete who chose not to compete. Why shun the women who defied odds, who left the Tokyo Olympics gold medalists and world champions?

Wesley Yang, author of books, "Becoming Michelle," and "Behold American" noted, "Sure, fine, don't compete if your state of mind makes it dangerous."

"Do what you must," he said. "But the integrated messaging apparatus sought to venerate this act as if it transcended victory itself.  We are present at the birth of new values."

When it came to political and social demonstrations at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, the women stood out. Pride at the Olympics was saturated with anti-American protests from the nation's own athletes, mostly women who saw an opportunity to use a global platform to address social justice.

"It's an opportunity for us to continue to use our voices and use our platforms to talk about the things that affect all of us intimately in different ways," US women's soccer team captain Megan Rapinoe said after her team's 3-0 opening loss to Sweden.

The contempt some American athletes displayed at representing their country should not overshadow those who represented us with sportsmanship and dignity. In contrast to Biles, "Allyson Felix was given the sendoff she deserves as she leaves behind a legacy that offers a promising future for U.S. women's sprinters," wrote Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated.  

Felix made history after winning her 11th medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

"The women gathered in a circle here; they later revealed that they had said a prayer," wrote Bishop, "Had the stands been packed with fans they would have roared, every human with a heartbeat on their feet, showering Felix and her dominant teammates with a standing ovation."

Sydney McLaughlin first made headlines at the Rio Olympics in 2016 for setting a junior world record in the 400-meter hurdles. At 16, she was one of the youngest US Olympian runners to compete in track and field since 1972.  At the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, McLaughlin set a new world record in the 400-meter hurdles and won an Olympic gold medal.

"Just trusting the process. Giving the glory to God. That's all. This season, hard work and dedication and just really grateful to be able to represent my country and to have this opportunity,"  said McLaughlin.

Also at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Tamyra Mensah-Stock became the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling.

There are dozens of stories of athletes who stood for God, family, country, or team, who stood apart from the social justice crowd that stands for individualism. American wokeism normalizes hatred for patriotism, and on a world stage, protests make the country look unstable.

Researcher, Sumantra Maitra noted, "I was reading something about the collapse of the Florentine Republic, and one thing that struck me… the clearest sign of an emerging aristocracy, is the decline of any fair competition. Where you know you will never win, despite your best. Think that's relevant for our times."

In Florence, economic prosperity of the city enabled elite families to control the government. The aristocracy was eager to demonstrate that they belonged as a ruling class in a world of Kings, Princes, and Popes. To maintain social status, and political power, the elite embraced patronage for artists that could further their power and promote their interests.

Perhaps this is what TIME, and the corporate legacies who's interests they represent, see in the women's artistic gymnastics team. Ingrained in social justice their support furthers a popular movement that will win them accolades among the common people.

However, replacing meritorious competition with righteous indignation, makes the eventual disintegration of fair competition imminent, just as it did in Florence's Medici era.

The social justice industry offers incentives that are simply too good to reject, and by playing the game of individualism and subsequent conformation into the movement you get to win awards, and maybe even a  Pulitzer Prize.

Elitists in modernity surpass the concept of ideas and achievements, and replace them with movements that enable elitists interests. In the end all achievement is given by the grace of their hand, and all social impact works for the benefit of expansion in which the ends justify the means.


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