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The Carlotta Ferlito Incident

The gymternet has been up in arms over some colorful comments from Italian Gymnast, Carlotta Ferlito.

Carlotta has been quoted saying some very not nice things about the American gymnasts in her frustration over losing out on a world medal. But is she really as terrible as it's being made out to be?

The first source of grief: this interview on Gymnastike. Carlotta was asked about the inquiries and the competition and she said she thought the team did well but she was disappointed with her fifth place finish and Vanessa Ferrari's fourth place finish. She then said Simone Biles didn't deserve the bronze. She said "she's an amazing gymnast, but she didn't do so well. " She goes on to say Simone didn't perform the best routine of what she is capable of. She's not frustrated with Simone at all, she's frustrated with the judging and the code. She doesn't imply that just because they are American, their inquiries will be accepted. To be fair, that was not necessarily Simone's best beam routine she's ever done, however, her difficulty score (6.1) gives her a .2 lead over Vanessa and a .4 advantage over Carlotta.

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There was also an interview that Carlotta gave with Ginnastica Artistic Italiana saying basically the same thing, but in a harsher tone:

" Carlotta said that the Americans didn’t perform well, than she corrected her sentence saying that Simone beam routine was one of the worst routines she’s seen her doing, since she had a couple of wobbles, then a huge balance check (and almost hit her head against the beam), and also took a huge step on her landing. Is this false? I don’t think so. Is this kind? Absolutely not. When she was asked why Simone got a medal after the enquiry, she answered ”because she’s the world champion, because her dismount is a full twisting double back, because she’s american..” and she clearly look frustrated, as Italy’s athletes came fourth several times, behind gymnasts from the Big Four. " via Mustafinaislove

Carlotta definitely put her foot in her mouth when she said that, but again, it's frustration with the code and the judges, not Simone herself. The amount of inquiries in the beam final was ridiculously high and it was discussed on the latest GymCastic episode that the judging and the score should be right the first time and inquiries should not be needed.

To give Carlotta some credit, she understands she should have thought about what she said before she said it.

The next source of grief are some racist comments she said about "dying" her skin.

Per Mustafinaislove

"The exact words were: All Around final award ceremony: Interviewer: ‘'so Carlotta, Simone Biles won the AA competition” Carlotta: ‘'yeah I told Vanessa we should dye our skin black so we can medal too” (referred to Douglas winning gold at the Olympics and Biles at the worlds)” *laughs* I’m 100% sure that was a joke, she didn’t mean to be racist nor rude, she was really pleased with her performance and happy about the final ranking. She also joked because Vanessa (who was in the top 8) was awarded by someone she would have liked to award her as well, and she said: 'Next time I promise I’ll do better” and she was all smiles. She never complained about that final ranking.' "
I don't know what the source of that interview is from. This, in my opinion was probably the nastiest thing she said. I don't know where the source came from. But it has been discussed at length that Italians are much more blatantly racist. Unfortunately, bitterness doesn't look good on anyone, neither does nastiness. Cutting someone down doesn't change the results. She's apologized, but the damage has already been done. A search for Simone Biles on Google and the first results are all about Carlotta and her nasty comments. It doesn't help the situation any.

Dvora Myers of Unorthodox Gymnastics wrote an excellent piece on the issue.

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