Here’s a small collection of a few memes that appeared on my instagram that, in some way or another, try to minimize, invalidate or ridiculize Gentry’s win. Those are posted on @whip.annconolly and @slackyyoyomemes accounts.
I wanted to bring this to attention here. Yes, people can do whatever they want on the internet, but it is very, very sad when you remember yoyo players are real people with feelings.
If you believe what these people are doing is harmless, take it from Gentry himself, which did an AMA on r/Throwers about 10 months ago and opened his heart and left a comment, here’s part of it.
There have been so many times where I’ve wanted to quit yoyoing. Over the last 10 years, I’ve poured my heart and soul into yoyoing. Actual blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve read literally THOUSANDS of comments from people I’ve never met, and some that I have met, talking about how much I suck, how terrible my tricks are, how I never deserved to win said contest, how bad my routines are, how much they hate the yoyos I’ve designed, how much they hate me, and many, many more comments of disapproval. I’ve spent countless hours staring at a wall or ceiling wondering how people can have so much hate toward me. Little do they know, EVERY comment hits me harder and contributes to the times where I feel like I want to quit yoyoing.
On top of that, I have failed a lot of times in my yoyo career. This year, I put in about 8 hours a day for 8-10 months to try to win the World Yoyo Contest again. I also went to Japan to train for almost a month before the contest, and was told by some of the most profound people in the yoyo community that my routine was the best ever. Everyone was telling me I was going to win. When it came time to perform my routine, I messed up. I totally ruined the freestyle. I hit maybe 70% of the routine when I needed to hit 90%. I got off stage thinking “Did that actually just happen?”. I walked straight to my hotel room, threw my bag on the floor, and found myself staring at a wall… again. I called my mom across the world with tears in my eyes, telling her that I don’t ever want to touch a yoyo again.
So yes, I understand how you feel. I know what its like to want to quit.
To finish this, I want to leave this comment from Rei Iwakura, respected figure in the yoyo community and six-time 4A World Champion, who said this after observing the negative pulse of great part of the community towards this year’s results.
I am sickened and disgusted and that’s ok. The situation won’t change. I just wanted to vent my feelings towards this here and maybe bring some awareness into this topic.