In my 20s, my friends often teased me for a three-word saying they believed I overused. “Is it really, Alyssa?” they’d ask. “Is it really ‘the best ever’?”
Maybe it was my youthful optimism or a post-cheerleader positivity that had yet to wear off (be beaten out of me), but I uttered those words with conviction. I truly believed a majority of my days were the “best day ever,” which was my most common (over)use of the “best ever” superlative. Or so I was told.
That phrase did not seem like hyperbole.
I still believe that about many of my days, but I don’t think I use the term as much. That could have as much to do with a former editor beating into my head that something is “the best” period. It is not the “best ever.” If every sentence can be 10 percent shorter, as was his belief, this was the perfect case for taking a little off the end.
But since I have no copyeditor on this blog — typically not a good thing — and because the U.S. women’s gymnastics team is deserving of all magnitudes of praise, I offer you this: The Final Five is, hands down, the best ever. Simone Biles is the best ever. And today was the best ever.
It was an honor to watch them compete in person, just as it has been all along the way. But today was special. Today, they did the thing we all expected them to do, and they did it with composure and near perfection.
That, in my mind, is what was most remarkable about their performance tonight. They knew they didn’t have to be perfect. They knew every one of them could fall — twice, honestly — and they could still win team gold. They had every reason to relax and perform only as well as they needed to do to win.
And yet, they were nearly flawless while executing some of the most difficult and dangerous routines the sport has seen. They are the Dream Team. They are the best athletes in Rio and it has been a pleasure to tell their story.
A few, from today:
And of course, Foudy and I go head-to-head in our nightly Storyline Showdown