Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Bob Costas Interview with Simone and Aly

Status
Not open for further replies.

Terry

Member
Former Gymnast
Sep 20, 2013
484
46
Country
USA
I posted about this two days ago. I thought it was adorable and nice to see them being the kids they are. What is the criticism?
Its pretty wide ranging. Mostly about how he treated Aly and Simone like a couple of silly teenagers instead world class athletes. This is not completely untrue. He asked them at length about Zac Effron, what junk food they wanted to eat, not one serious question about gymnastics. At one point he actually said "is there anything to talk about concerning the competition?"

Then there was the point when he said that Simone had just become famous. Well, not so. certainly not in the gymnastics world where its been all Simone all the time for 3 years now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BachFlyer

Terry

Member
Former Gymnast
Sep 20, 2013
484
46
Country
USA
I think the truth is Aly and Simone handled the interview well. They are 19 and 22. But Costas is supposed to be a professional sportscaster. He should know how to ask reasonable questions of Olympic champions and not just blither on about pizza. Its okay to show their giddiness and joy a little. But how about a few serious questions to highlight their extreme talent, ability and hard work?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BachFlyer

LindyHopper

Active Member
Proud Parent
May 25, 2016
808
Country
USA
I don't think producers wanted him to ask intelligent questions--that would take away from the narrative. I think it was all to help "package" them as cute little girls rather than I intelligent, capable women. I mean, look at the cover of People Magazine with the Final Five on the cover: the headline America's Sweethearts.

If the men's team had won gold, they probably wouldn't be on the cover of People, but if they were, it certainly wouldn't call them sweethearts
 

Terry

Member
Former Gymnast
Sep 20, 2013
484
46
Country
USA
NBC is a fluff channel. Aimed at the uneducated masses. They provide what people want. You want serious news, switch channels.
Right. But there is a difference between serious, hardcore news and just not treating Aly and Simone like Olympians. Simone has gone down in history as this eras greatest gymnast -- maybe the greatest gymnast of all time. Aly just pulled off an astounding comeback that even we (gymnasts, coaches, serious fans) did not think possible. Surely even a "fluff" interview should have included something beyond their crush on an actor and junk food?
 

bogwoppit

Administrator
Staff member
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
16,493
Country
Canada
Right. But there is a difference between serious, hardcore news and just not treating Aly and Simone like Olympians. Simone has gone down in history as this eras greatest gymnast -- maybe the greatest gymnast of all time. Aly just pulled off an astounding comeback that even we (gymnasts, coaches, serious fans) did not think possible. Surely even a "fluff" interview should have included something beyond their crush on an actor and junk food?

Honestly it doesn't bother me a bit. People get far too wrapped up in all the post performance interviews etc. I care about their performance on the podium, before and after that I care little. It is the sport that interests me, not their persona.
 

coachmolly

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 18, 2009
2,947
VA
Country
USA
I don't think it needs to be an either/or between fun loving kids/young adults with vivacious personalities and capable young women and I hate that that is a societal norm that you can't be both. Just because you can giggle about a celebrity crush and ooze excitement over eating ice cream does not make you any less intelligent or capable, it makes them normal girls their age. Madison is going to UCLA in the fall, she's obviously a smart and capable young lady, but she also loves Carrie Underwood and celebrating her medals like a 19 year old. And I think that's what essentially any broadcast or interview is going for, they want to show these amazing athletes as normal human beings who have personalities and interests outside of their sport. And really, anyone watching the Olympics can see that every single one of these girls is exceptional at what they do. Their gymnastics did the talking. What else do you want interviewers to ask? "Simone, can you explain the biomechanics behind your signature tumbling pass?"

I just hate that showing women/girls as silly or fun loving seem to HAVE to carry the implication that they are being belittled or shown as inadequate. I get this all the time in my life. I work with children, I love bright colors and sparkles, I do craft projects for fun, and get very excited when I see a cute animal, so obviously I'm an unintelligent person. Actually, I have a Masters degree, I'm well read and well traveled, I just happen to like "silly" things too. The same with these girls. The world has seen they are exceptional at gymnastics, now they want to see the people behind the gym- what makes them who they are.
 

Terry

Member
Former Gymnast
Sep 20, 2013
484
46
Country
USA
Just to clarify -- NONE of the criticism seems aimed at either Aly or Simone. I think everyone recognizes that they are , in fact, young girls and were absolutely giddy over their huge success at the games.

Its appropriate for them to talk about pizza, Zac efron etc.

The criticism is all being aimed at Bob Costa -- and there I think it is well deserved. He needed to honor their youth and allow for some silliness, but also to honor their athletic prowess and great achievement. Not one question about their gymnastics?

I agree with the criticism being levelled at him. I think anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BachFlyer

munchkin3

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
Country
USA
I thought it was very cute. I like that they sounded totally normal and silly and it seemed like the girls did not want to talk about gymnastics.......
After my DD competition season the last thing she wants to talk about is gymnastics.....
I came away loving these two girls.
 
  • Like
Reactions: thefellowsmom

txgymfan

Moderator
Staff member
Coach
Proud Relative
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
2,758
Houston
Country
USA
I don't think they were in the mood for a serious interview. I'm glad he didn't try for it to hard. Aly is always on message. She is a pro and while her voice is often monotone, she knows what she is supposed to say and 99% of the time she says it.

This is the first interview I have ever seen where she was just a 22 year old who was excited and tired and unfiltered.

Bob tried to ask what they wanted to see, implying Olympic events and they said the beach. He asked about something else and Simone mentioned Zac. If Costas had tried to make them more serious he would have come off worse.
 

Terry

Member
Former Gymnast
Sep 20, 2013
484
46
Country
USA
Bob tried to ask what they wanted to see, implying Olympic events and they said the beach. He asked about something else and Simone mentioned Zac. If Costas had tried to make them more serious he would have come off worse.
Right. I just watched it again. Aly was actually the one who first brought up Zac Efron. She and Simone then launched into silly mode. It may have just been the mood they were in and that was driving the interview. But again, Costas is the professional sportscaster here.

To be honest though, it was not until I saw all the criticism that I started questioning this.
 

GymDad9.9

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2016
1,089
Country
USA
Right. I just watched it again. Aly was actually the one who first brought up Zac Efron. She and Simone then launched into silly mode. It may have just been the mood they were in and that was driving the interview. But again, Costas is the professional sportscaster here.

To be honest though, it was not until I saw all the criticism that I started questioning this.
Looks like the article you linked was from the Associated Press TV writer and this kind of reporting typically stirs up lame controversy. If whoever wrote this column was actually doing their job, they'd have more than enough ammunition to take Al Trautwig to task for his serial sexist behavior. Instead, further down in the article you linked, we get cuteness about Trautwig as opposed to serious commentary.
 

GymMom4

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 8, 2013
981
Country
USA
I didn't think it was bad that they talked about something other than gymnastics for that interview. They have been "all business" and have talked about gymnastics plenty but now that they are done competing at the Olympics it is fine for them to relax. They have certainly earned the right to play a little after all they had to do to prepare to compete.
 

Oopski

Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
May 25, 2012
284
NY
Country
USA
The girls seemed to steer the conversation of the interview towards fun/fluff not Bob, they are the ones that kept bringing up Zac Effron and eating pizza and hanging at the beach. Which is totally fine, they earned it!
 

gasrgoose

Active Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Dec 15, 2010
518
I've seen most (if not all) the post competition interviews, facebook live, Zac Effron meeting, etc. It seems very clear that the girls/ladies were leading the conversation and were not going to stay serious for long, if ever. And I love it!!!!!!! What these girls (all 5 of them) have done to show just how fun gymnastics can be is great for the sport. And it's even better for the 2nd year level 9 hoping for a college opportunity or the 1st year level 10 also trying to qualify Hopes or the level 3 hoping to one day be an optional gymnast.
 

LindyHopper

Active Member
Proud Parent
May 25, 2016
808
Country
USA
I don't think it needs to be an either/or between fun loving kids/young adults with vivacious personalities and capable young women and I hate that that is a societal norm that you can't be both. Just because you can giggle about a celebrity crush and ooze excitement over eating ice cream does not make you any less intelligent or capable, it makes them normal girls their age. Madison is going to UCLA in the fall, she's obviously a smart and capable young lady, but she also loves Carrie Underwood and celebrating her medals like a 19 year old. And I think that's what essentially any broadcast or interview is going for, they want to show these amazing athletes as normal human beings who have personalities and interests outside of their sport. And really, anyone watching the Olympics can see that every single one of these girls is exceptional at what they do. Their gymnastics did the talking. What else do you want interviewers to ask? "Simone, can you explain the biomechanics behind your signature tumbling pass?"

I just hate that showing women/girls as silly or fun loving seem to HAVE to carry the implication that they are being belittled or shown as inadequate. I get this all the time in my life. I work with children, I love bright colors and sparkles, I do craft projects for fun, and get very excited when I see a cute animal, so obviously I'm an unintelligent person. Actually, I have a Masters degree, I'm well read and well traveled, I just happen to like "silly" things too. The same with these girls. The world has seen they are exceptional at gymnastics, now they want to see the people behind the gym- what makes them who they are.
For me, it isn't an either or type of situation. Why can't they be seen as BOTH? That could have been accomplished by asking each of them just one or two questions about their sport and their training along with all of the fun and personal questions.
 

Sass&Caffeine

New Member
Proud Parent
Mar 21, 2016
31
44
Country
USA
I'm not a fan of Bob Costas and I'm glad the girls kept him off balance. They made it clear they wanted to avoid serious conversation and he had to go with the flow. He looked a bit uncomfortable and I think that's hilarious. I saw it as them not cooperating with the narrative NBC is trying to create.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.