Tag: Aly Raisman

U.S. Gymnastics Sensation Simone Biles Soars to Fourth Gold Medal in Rio Olympics

Simone Biles nailed her signature move, The Biles, to win the gold medal in the floor exercise. (Credit: Dmitri Lovetsky/Associated Press)

article by Victor Mather and Lela Moore via nytimes.com

RIO DE JANEIRO — For anyone who doubted her after a subpar performance on the balance beam, Simone Biles sent an emphatic message on Tuesday: She is unbeatable in the floor exercise.

Biles bounced back from a bronze medal performance on the beam to dominate the floor, completing her Rio Olympics with four gold medals and the bronze. She is the fourth American female gymnast to win five medals in a single Olympics, joining Mary Lou Retton (1984), Shannon Miller (1992) and Nastia Liukin (2008).

Biles scored a 15.966 in the floor, considered her best event.

Her signature floor move is the Biles, a double layout with a half-twist and a blind landing. She performed the move nearly perfectly, adding a stag leap, which she had left out of her performance in the team event but included in the individual all-around.

Her score dwarfed those of her competitors. Her teammate Aly Raisman won the silver medal with a routine slightly less difficult than Biles’s, sticking every landing on every tumbling pass. The bronze medal went to Amy Tinkler, the first female gymnast from Britain to compete in a floor final.

Raisman earned her sixth Olympic medal and her third at these Games. She won the team gold and the silver in the individual all-around, behind Biles, who also won the vault.

Tuesday’s victory put Biles in an exclusive club. Just three female gymnasts before her — Ecaterina Szabo of Romania (1984), Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia (1968) and Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union (1956) — had also won four gold medals in one Olympics.

To read full article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/16/sports/olympics/rio-schedule-simone-biles-results.html

OPINION: Simone Biles Takes Olympic Gold in Women’s All-Around Gymnastics Final; Still Deserves Better Major Media Coverage

Olympic All-Around Gold Medalist Simone Biles (photo via latimes.com)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

You’ve surely heard about it by now, and likely seen it too – U.S. gymnast phenomenon Simone Biles easily captured individual all-around gold at the Rio Olympics Thursday by out-performing the best of the world’s best and fulfilling what many felt was her long-awaited destiny.  Teammate Aly Raisman won the silver and Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina took the bronze, repeating her finish in London four years ago.  It was the second time the U.S. women went 1-2 in the all-around, having also done so in 2008.

But what I find to be challenging about the major media coverage of Biles beyond the footage of her feats (which I could watch all day every day) is how much it focuses primarily on three things: 1)her “humble beginnings” family story  2)how “girly” she is and 3) how she is preternaturally genetically gifted for the sport she so clearly dominates.  If you need to see examples of any or all of this, simply turn on NBC to catch whatever package is running on her as they show the gymnastics competitions (I’ve personally seen the footage of her at the nail salon three separate times), go to nbcolympics.com, read pretty much any major newspaper’s feature on her (many with some tagline about what a “giant” the 4′ 8″ teen is), or heck, just click through the internet.

In addition to hearing about her once-in-a-generation, God-given talent or her twitter crush on Zac Efron, can’t we please hear, see, read and learn more about how Biles’ team crafts her routines to capitalize on her strengths?  Or how exactly did she and/or her coaches come up with her signature move for the floor routine – the Biles?  (Okay, I just found that one – it’s on inc.com – a business site!).

If I Google and scour a bit, I do find what I want – coverage of Biles’ discipline, work ethic and what kind of discrimination, if any, she faces as a black gymnast in a predominately white sport – like this very strong piece published in deadspin.com. I do believe, however, this should be the standard of mainstream media coverage on a sports superstar of Biles’ caliber, particularly from the official network covering the Olympics she is currently crushing. (Yes, it’s cute to see her dance to “Uptown Funk” with Hoda and reveal her and her teammates’ Kellogg’s cereal box on “The Today Show”, but c’mon Peacock – there is so much more to this athlete!)

Hopefully this weekend during the broadcast of the individual skills events, NBC will step it up – way up – because Biles surely will, and she deserves nothing but the best as she gives us all her best.

U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team – AKA the ‘Final Five’ – Take Team Gold in Rio

U.S. Gymnasts (l-r) Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman take a bite out of team gold in Rio (photo via nbcolympics.com)

article by Julia Fincher via nbcolympics.com

If there was any question that the U.S. has the best women’s gymnastics team in the world, it was answered today for the fifth time.

With two consecutive Olympic golds and world championships titles in 2011, 2014 and 2015, the U.S. women have made a seemingly unbreakable habit of winning. And not just edging out their competitors by a few tenths, but leading the competition from start to finish and claiming victory by multiple points

Throughout the team final at the Rio Olympics, 2012 Olympians Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, along with first-time Olympians Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, looked focused but confident, never faltering under the weight of the world’s or their expectations.

The other teams in the final gave their best efforts to make a run at the long-reigning queens of the sport, but nearly every team suffered a fall over the course of four events.

Not the U.S., who clocked 12 hit routines over the four events. They started with a nearly-stuck Amanar vault, the one made famous by McKayla Maroney in 2012, from Raisman. Next up was uneven bars, where Kocian and Douglas earned two of the highest uneven bars scores of the day. Hernandez, Raisman and Biles all scored over 15 points on balance beam, looking a little less steady than usual but keeping in control.

Final Five celebrates (photo via nbcolympics.com)
Final Five celebrates (photo via nbcolympics.com)

Finally, floor, again with Hernandez, Raisman and Biles. Raisman is the reigning Olympic champion on floor while Biles is the reigning world champion, and they showed why. Raisman stuck nearly every landing while Biles nearly flipped to the rafters in her routine that uses music from the movie Rio.

They finished with a team total of 8.209 points. It was the largest margin of victory since the “Perfect 10” scoring system was replaced by the current open-ended scoring method was implemented in 2006. They easily surpassed the previous record of 5.066 points, set by the Fierce Five in London.

Russia finished in second place, followed by China in third. It was Russia’s second consecutive silver, while China was missed the podium in London but won team gold at their home Olympics in Beijing.

For full article, go to: ‘Final Five’ win gymnastics team gold in Rio | NBC Olympics

Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Start Strong at 2016 Rio Olympics

U.S gymnast and World Champion Simone Biles (photo via newsone.com)
Olympic All-Around Defending Champion Gabby Douglas (photo via newsone.com)

article by Charise Frazier via newsone.com

The USA women’s gymnastics team obviously did not come to play in Rio – they literally vaulted ahead of the competition during the qualifying round on Sunday.

Veteran Aly Raisman and it-girl Simone Biles will advance to the all-around final, where they will battle with China, who scored second in the qualifiers. In total, Team USA scored an unprecedented 10 points higher than China on Sunday.  Team USA holds the chance to win 10 gold medals in every finals event, including vault, beams, bar, and floor exercises.

In the vault competition, Biles was utter perfection as she nailed two of the hardest vaults in the competition, scoring 16.050, the highest of any gymnast during the meet. Raisman came in second with a solid 15.766.

On the bars, Madison Kocian led the team with a high score of 15.866, while Douglas came in third behind Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, with 15.766.

But it was the beam exercise that most were looking forward to. Douglas and Biles both fell during last month’s Olympic trials. On Sunday, they didn’t disappoint, landing explosive performances. Biles came in first for Team USA with 15.633, and Laurie Hernandez came in second, scoring 15.366 and beating out Brazilian gymnast and crowd favorite, Flavia Saraiva. Douglas came in third for USA with 14.833.

To read full article, go to : Watch Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas At 2016 Rio Olympics | News One

Gymnast Gabby Douglas Wins 2nd Straight Competition on Road Back to Olympics

Gabby Douglas (photo via usatoday.com)
Gabby Douglas (photo via usatoday.com)

article by Rachel Axon via usatoday.com

On a day when Gabby Douglas continued to make progress toward a return to the Olympics, two young American gymnasts put in a strong showing as they start a path to trying to make the U.S. team.

Douglas won the all-around Saturday at the City of Jesolo Trophy competition in Jesolo, Italy — her second international win this month, while Ragan Smith and Laurie Hernandez finished second and third, respectively.

Meanwhile, Aly Raisman, another Fierce Fiver trying to make a second Games, struggled to a sixth-place finish.

The Americans took six of the top seven spots in the event, with Douglas scoring 59.650, Smith scoring 59.050 and Hernandez 58.550.

Douglas, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, earned the first win of her comeback earlier this month at the American Cup.

Aside from Douglas and Raisman, the U.S. team for the competition included gymnasts who will be trying for their first Olympic team this year.  Smith and Hernandez are both 15 years old. Hernandez finished first and Smith third as juniors at the U.S. championships in August.

Simone Biles, the three-time defending world and U.S. all-around champion, did not compete in Italy and is expected to start her competition season at the Pacific Rim Championships next month.

To read more, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2016/03/19/gymnastics-gabby-douglas-rio/82015112/