Jennifer O’Connell: Why are some men so afraid of Simone Biles saying ‘no’?

Elite sport has a women problem, and it isn’t confined to relentless sexualisation of athletes

 Simone Biles reacts after competing in the artistic gymnastics balance beam event of the women’s qualification during the Tokyo   Games. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles reacts after competing in the artistic gymnastics balance beam event of the women’s qualification during the Tokyo Games. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

The mission of the modern Olympic Games, according to the vacuous corporate words on its website, doubtless dreamed up by teams of overpaid consultants, is “educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind”. Gender equality is “a top priority”. It will achieve this by – drum roll now please for the big reveal – making the Olympic games “easier for female athletes”.

As specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely targets go, this is up there with “feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time” as a plan to end global poverty.

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