Texas’ deputy attorney general on Wednesday called Simone Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, a “selfish, childish national embarrassment.” Biles, who lives and trains in Spring, Texas, withdrew from the all-around competition in Tokyo the previous day, and she had dropped out of the team all-around earlier in the week, citing stress, pressure, and mental health concerns. Retweeting a writer’s remark about former Olympian Kerri Strug, Aaron Reitz wrote, “Contrast this with our selfish, childish national embarrassment, Simone Biles.” The writer said that Strug had competed in 1996 despite an ankle injury to give Team USA its only chance at winning gold, writing, “The great ones find a way.” Though Strug did compete on an injured ankle, the tweet was wrong, and Strug was not the team’s only chance at gold. The writer later tweeted a correction. He did not, however, delete the original tweet, which had racked up more than 3,000 retweets. The tweets come on the heels of several right-wing politicians and commentators like J.D. Vance taking aim at Biles for her withdrawal.
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