Was I the only one who didn't know that Simone Biles is a space scientist? I feel like her PhD in Astronomical Beatdowns should play a bigger part in profile pieces about her. Just a note heading to the Olympics. Today, Dr. Biles went out to conduct some field research into how much bacon grease a preposterous alien space queen can rub on her feet before a meet and still beat all y'all serfs by an obscene margin. The study is ongoing, but the results we obtained today are very encouraging and indicate that the original hypothesis of 20 handfuls might be quite low.
Should any other gymnasts even bother having dreams anymore? That's not for me to say, but absolutely not.
You see this?
You're welcome. Have fun handing me my scepter.
-But the major conundrum confounding the space-science world lately has been just how many times Simone could fall and still win a world championship. Right now, it's looking like the answer is two instead of the previously prevailing theory of SHUT UP A BILLION QUEEEEEEN [faint], proposed by Nichols, Me, et al. Simone didn't fall today (there are still a lot of experiments to do be done in this field; we're just scratching the surface of what we can learn), but her mistakes across three events probably combined to equal a fall, and she still won by a full point, then hugged a thousand pandas, ran into a nest of hipster beards and cured all of them, and eradicated the world of all LinkedIn requests. She's basically a Marvel hero.
-Really, the only event Simone hit well today was bars. On vault, she danced out of her Amanar in stork stand (don't give Nellie any ideas, girl!), and on floor she forgot that she still has event finals coming up and tried to split leap directly into the Cadbury factory on the second pass. Excusable. Though on beam, I do have to give Simone credit for attempting the very challenging punch front+Nastia combination for 0.2 CV, but the judges didn't view them as separate skills and got all pissy and deductiony about it for some reason.
-I mean, yes, take for bending the back leg, but otherwise I feel like she achieved what the code is looking for from a Free-Standing Nastia in Resting Bitchface position (D value) and shouldn't be penalized so drastically.
-Of course, even while running the Bacon Grease Experiment, Simone still performed tremendous gymnastics that makes everyone else run to the bathroom and sob into a ball of toilet paper like a romantic-comedy woman who's just about to learn that wearing her hair down in order to snare a husband is more important than all her personal achievements. If you're anyone else in this competition, you have to be saying, "Where are all my throwing vases?"
-It's a pretty remarkable feat that Simone has achieved. No, I'm not talking about the record-setting third-straight world title. And no, I'm not talking about the American record-setting 11th world medal. Child's play. I'm talking about the fact that Simone almost went full UCLA-road-meet on this arena, yet there's no controversy about her mistake-riddled victory whatsoever. Because she's Simone, and she's fixes people. And she's that much better than any idea anyone has ever had. I'm just worried about the internet. If Simone keeps being this infallibly victorious, it's going to starve.
-Beyond Simone's temporary bout with real life (may its horrors never tough her again), a major development in this final was the very bizarre decision by Nadia Comaneci to replace the beam with that judgmental snake right after Iordache went. I know she was devastated by Romania's performance and all, but that's just not good sportsmanship. Iordache started on beam with a hit, and then once Nadia made the switch, every single person fell into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy on every single skill and got a 1. Dame Ruby of Harrold valiantly tried to slay the snake-beam by slapping it in the face with the force of a thousand novas, but even she could not escape its demonic wiggling.
-Snake-beam was the major factor in determining most of the other fates, as #2 qualifier Steingruber fell prey to its rattling despite three other solid-enough events, featuring the invention of leap amplitude on floor and a rudi that Alicia Sacramone would give 5 out of 5 inner-thigh caresses. Ellie Black looked at that performance and said, "YAY TWINSIES!" as she basically had an exactly identical meet, just with a less difficult vault. Plagiarism. Cease and desist. As for Seda Tutkhalyan, the snake-beam barely took one look at her Kristal Uzelac hair and went "GAH! 12.700!"
-The beam also had some very interesting things to say in the race for the non-Simone medals. Back in qualification, Gabby Douglas hit three of her events like a champ, helping her qualify to the AA ahead of that treatise on the futility of human existence in an Aly Raisman costume, as well as Maggie Nich...oh that's right. Once again today, Gabby hit three events quite solidly, and was even able to charm snake-beam well enough to simply wobble on every step she tried to take. Compared to today's standard, she basically invented the horseless carriage with that routine.
-But because there were many deductions in her beam routine, Larisa Iordache was able to force a competition to break out suddenly all over the arena as the two fought for second. Iordache got to perform on a normal, non-serpentine beam, but more importantly, she also managed to procure some WADA-approved antibiotics to finally get her infectious Romania in check for bars, overcoming the great shame of a nation and propelling her ahead of all the people who had fire sales on beam. Douglas ultimately did hold onto silver because she was stronger than Iordache on vault and bars and had better control and landing position on her floor tumbling, but those two were far and way the best performing members of the Maybe If Simone Falls Twice Dance Company.
-Shang Chunsong's painfully adorable braces (I would make a joke about her age here, but as someone who had braces until he was way too old to be having braces, that's a thing) also managed to hit four events. Suddenly, Shang has transformed into a mental rock since qualification. I guess because someone's got to do it around here, but her simple yfull (and it can be a struggle) will always hold her down. If she were able to vault like Douglas or Iordache, she would have won the silver. Sadly, she remains the size of a small guinea pig and could use the vaulting table as a three-bedroom house, so it's just not happening.
-Another highlight was Mai Murakami. A lot has been made of the fact that she went from alternate to 6th-place in the AA in the matter of a week, to which I ask, why in the sweet mother of crap was she ever going to be the alternate for this team? Without her floor and vault, Japan would never have managed that 5th place finish. Laura Jurca also had another hit day in the AA, quickly becoming Romania's consistent little workhorse who can even hit bars sometimes occasionally. I know we've criticized Romania for having the bars difficulty of a blind goose, but Jurca can at least hit her low-difficulty routine for a score that doesn't need an IV. Take notes.
-In the nightmare place of screams, the British ladies had traveled so far into the atmosphere after the team competitions of the last two days that making it back in time to compete at all was an accomplishment. Who can blame them for being a little "meet my friend splat" today. Also, Flavia Saraiva has spent so long outside the enchanted clearing that her fairy dust is starting to dissipate into the atmosphere. She hasn't even seen a talking bunny rabbit in weeks, so she's not really responsible for finishing last.
-Mostly today, we were given the gift of laughter by the dear bowl of sawdust that was hired to do commentary for the online stream (hey, I'll take bland over crazy nonsense any day), as she one-upped the Enema vault from the team final to give us the dual magical pronunciations of Leaky Weavers and Elisabeth Shits. Congratulations, your names will never be anything else. Unfortunately, Weavers was pretty leaky today, though Elisabeth did well enough to avoid a case of the shits.
-Men's all-around tomorrow! If Kohei Simones, will Oleg have a chance to Great Britain? (I hereby make no other comments about Oleg and whether or not he may be able hit certain routines. 5th Amendment.)