There is a video circulating on social media showing a youth girls 200m race in which the focus of the video loses a shoe in the first step of the race. The athlete turns around and puts the shoe back on and proceeds to run down the field to win. The video was even reposted by World Athletics on Instagram and Michael Johnson on Twitter, among others.
The father of the athlete in question, who posted the original video and was tagged by World Athletics is Terence Crawford, a professional fighter with 800k followers on Instagram. Since the posting, a video of his daughter thanking social media at large has appeared on his page.
I find this entire situation suspicious.
Starting with the video of the race.
The runner begins the 200 in a standing start. Her right foot is planted behind her left. Immediately upon lifting her right foot to begin her first stride the shoe “falls off”. I’m not sure how a shoe falls off by simply raising one’s foot off the ground. It implies the shoe was not on completely. The athlete then steps forward a few paces, turns around and runs back for the shoe while the rest of the runners race ahead. The athlete then places the shoe back on her foot and proceeds to race. The rest of the field is clearly not at the same caliber as the shoe troubled athlete she runs them down with ease to win by a hilariously large margin. I’d note that the athlete did not tie her shoe when putting it back on after the race started, yet seems to have no issues with it for the remaining 198 meters. You’d think that if the shoe was so loose that it would fall off in the first step she would surely have difficulty at some point at top speed.
a few things that stuck out beyond the suspicious shoe activity:
the athlete is clearly leaps and bounds better than the field, highlighting either a “bad meet” or intentional seeding in a slower heat. The clear difference in abilities is suspicious. So this just happened to have occurred in a meet where the skill gap was this massive?
the video is recorded by what appears to be family members of the athlete, who have rather calm and indifferent reaction to the lost shoe in the first few seconds. Nobody shouts something along the lines of “KEEP GOING!” or “Oh no!” as if they were not surprised by the shoe loss and all expected her to turn around to place the shoe back on and likely still win. The reactions to the shoe loss is incredibly muted compared to the cheering for the rest of the race. I found it odd that the passion in the last 95% of the video did not exist in the first 5% when the shoe loss occurred. This is likely the weakest evidence but I found that strange.
the athletes father is a social media person, professional athlete/fighter, who has again, already had his daughter featured in a video regarding the incident. His @ is linked in the world athletics post on Instagram from Wednesday or Tuesday. Talk about good press. I somewhat cringed at the follow up thank you video of his daughter (the athlete) as it felt incredibly forced and made me feel like she was being coerced into not just making the video but also the shoe loss drama to begin with. Like, of course, the girl’s dad has almost a million followers and likely derives a portion of his income from social media.
the risk of this “stunt” not working out and her losing the race was pretty low, simply don’t post the video. However, the reward is incredibly high in the form of a potentially viral video, very good for the family of the athlete considering the 800k followers.
If this was intentional, I don’t appreciate adults using children in this way. It seems like a social media stunt and since it involves a child it’s suddenly taboo to point out the peculiarities or even infer this was set up.
watch the video for yourself and consider the bigger context. This all seems too perfect, but lord forbid you criticize a child, which I’m not, I’m criticizing those who may have put her into the position in the first place.