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Opinion | Simone Biles and the MAGAverse’s Fetish of Toughness

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There’s something about Simone Biles that apparently triggers the MAGA-verse.

After the world’s preeminent gymnast dropped out of Olympic competition this week, right-wing Trump ally Charlie Kirk lashed out at her as a “selfish sociopath” and a “shame to the country.”

“We are raising a generation of weak people like Simone Biles,” said Kirk, who appears in television ads for pain-relief supplements.

He was hardly alone.

“Sorry, Simone Biles, The Olympics Isn’t About You, It’s About Winning For America,” proclaimed The Federalist. Radio host Clay Travis insisted that “she should apologize to her teammates for quitting on them at the moment they needed her the most.” Piers Morgan felt the need to similarly pile on: “I don’t think it’s remotely courageous, heroic or inspiring to quit,” Piers wrote in the Daily Mail.

Conservative writer Amber Athey joined the chorus, insisting that “a true champion is someone who perseveres even when the competition gets tough.”

Questioning whether Biles is a “true champion” seemed an odd shot to take, considering that the 24-year-old Black woman won four gold medals and a bronze in the last Olympics—tying the record for most gymnastics medals won by a woman at a single Games. That was on top of the 19 gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals she has won in other world competitions. In the 2019........

© Politico

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