Intro for August 12, 2016
The women were expected to be glorious these Games. And they have been GLORIOUS. Penny Oleksiak won Canada’s first gold medal in Rio, tying for first in the 100m freestyle with Simone Manuel yesterday. It was Penny’s fourth medal at these Olympics and she’s now the youngest Canadian to ever win Olympic gold. Penny Oleksiak is 16! She was supposed to go to Rio for the experience! Imagine then, if she can stay healthy, what will happen in 2020?
As for Simone Manuel, the first black woman to ever win individual gold in swimming, the significance of her achievement cannot be overstated. For a long, long time, pools were not safe spaces for African Americans. What happened last night was primarily a victory for Simone, of course. But it was also a victory over ignorance. As Vox noted this morning, “(p)eople worked so hard to keep African Americans out of pools. They lost”.
And then there’s Simone Biles. If you’re a regular visitor to this site, you know I’ve been fangirling Simone Biles HARD for the last few months. They all said she would win. They all said no one else could touch her. They all said that she was the surest of sure things. Yeah, but she still had to go and do it. She still had to train and sacrifice and focus…and THINK. When you’re as hyped as Simone Biles, when everyone is calling your coronation before the meet even begins, it’s not just your body that has to perform, it’s your mind. Most importantly your mind. Yesterday was a victory of the mind. You can’t be the Greatest Of All Time without a great mind.
When asked about her triumph, the fact that she’s now the most dominant gymnast in the history of the sport, with the largest win margin ever, Simone wanted to make one thing clear:
“I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”
But I do want to talk about a couple of these names in the context of feng shui. Back in January when I posted my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken’s Chinese New Year analysis for those born under the sign of the Ox, I wrote that the Ox had the potential to have the best luck of all the signs during this the Year of the Monkey. And I specifically chose Michael Phelps as the Ox representative. MP and Simone Biles both represent the Ox. During the Olympic trials in early July I mentioned the Ox forecast again when Simone and MP made their respective teams.
Simone is now, officially, the Olympic Individual All-Around champion. Michael Phelps has one swim left tonight and it doesn’t matter how he finishes because he’s already slammed the receipts against the wall with four gold medals.
Do you believe?
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,
Ian MacNicol/ ODD ANDERSEN/ Adam Pretty/ Jean Catuffe/ CHRISTOPHE SIMON/ Vaughn Ridley/ Getty Images