I haven’t mentioned last week’s gymnastics competition in Las Vegas. Partially, because it took us 7 and a half hours to get there through the El Niño rain, and then 8 and a half hours(!) to get home. Normally, it’s about 4 hours, 5 tops. So, obviously, I’m not frustrated or scarred from fighting children in the back seat. And, the screaming adults from the front seat. Or, the “let me take a minute” while I walk off my anger on the shoulder of the I-15 outside of Barstow.
This was one of those Big Deal gymnastics meets for Isabella (she’s 9, by the way), where girls from several states get together.
Isabella, of course, took 3 golds and one silver in the individuals. Because she is awesome, and deserved them all. East German judge and all.
But, I have a problem.
The powers behind this meet have divided the contestants into many, many subgroups. So that everyone ends up with a medal. The 8-year-olds, 3-6 months: Gold. The 6-year-olds doing a somersault. Gold. The 10-year-olds wearing a blue leotard: Gold.
So, the awards ceremony takes almost as long as the competition itself. And, everyone gets a medal.
Now, I’m all for acknowledging all of the gymnasts who competed. And, I have sat through plenty of “tied for 18th place” celebrations. And, they are celebrated. With ribbons. Because, at this stage, the girls are trying their best, and should be acknowledged. Good Job, Honey!
But, in Vegas, Everyone’s a winner. Allegedly. Everyone. They all get medals. Top 6. Medals.
There was one girl who was the only one in her category (10-years-old, red-hair, Pisces, left-handed, favorite color: Magenta). They basically threw all of the Gold medals at her. And, she was like: What the hell? I thought this was an actual competition.
Everyone gets a medal.
Here’s why this is wrong. My daughter, who had one of the overall top scores, doesn’t know where she stands among her peers. (She crushes them, by the way).
I asked the coach:
Me: So, does everyone get a medal for showing up?
Coach: Yeah. This is one of the fun meets.
Bullshit. Because, after the entrance fee, the admission fee, the Vegas hotel room, the 15-hour round-trip drive/scream-fest, the gas, the meals, and all of the frivolity, I want to know how my daughter stacks up against the other girls. This meet alone was about a thousand dollars. Srsly?
Because, if she ties for 18th place, then maybe next year we won’t do this. But, there’s a lame Gold medal awaiting. So….
Oh, I see…. They have a business model.