Tag: Martha Karolyi

Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles to Carry Flag for Team USA in Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony

simone biles (on bar)

article via eurweb.com

In addition to her five gold medals, Simone Biles is now poised for another super Rio Olympics experience.  She’s been chosen as the Team USA flag bearer for closing ceremony on Sunday.

“It’s an incredible honor to be selected as the flag bearer by my Team USA teammates,” Biles said in a statement. “This experience has been the dream of a lifetime for me and my team and I consider it a privilege to represent my country, the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics by carrying our flag. I also wish to thank the city of Rio de Janeiro, and the entire country of Brazil, for hosting an incredible Games.”

This quite an honor for Miss Biles as she is only the second American gymnast to carry the flag in an opening or closing ceremony after Alfred Jochim in 1936.

Though it was largely expected given her dominance in the sport over the past three years, Biles’ competition here was a resounding success, reports USA Today Sports.

She led the Americans to a second consecutive team gold medal by an eye-popping eight points before winning the all-around title, gold medals on vault and floor exercise and bronze on balance beam.

Her five medals matches marks set by Nastia Liukin in 2008, Shannon Miller in 1992 and Mary Lou Retton in 1984.

Her success here only added to the consensus that she’s the best gymnast of her time and probably the best ever. None other than Bela and Martha Karolyi, Retton and Aimee Boorman, Biles’ longtime coach, think the case is clear.

Biles, 19, entered these Games as the three-time defending world all-around champion. Her 10 gold medals earned over that span is a record for any gymnast, and she has 14 total medals from world championship competition.

 

To read full article, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/08/simone-biles-carry-us-flag-olympics-closing-ceremony-sunday/

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.

FEATURE: Atop the Gymnastics World, National Champion Simone Biles Can’t Suppress Her Grin

Simone Biles smiled nearly the whole way through her floor exercise on both days of the United States women’s gymnastics championships in St. Louis. (Credit: Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

article by Juliet Macur via nytimes.com

ST. LOUIS — At the end of the United States women’s gymnastics championships here on Sunday night, so many gold medals hung around Simone Biles’s neck that when she walked, they clinked so loudly it made her giggle. A few times, she grabbed her medals to silence them and laughed yet again.

“I always have so much fun,” Biles said later, after she had won her fourth straight national title in the all-around event and gold medals in three of the four individual events. The last time a woman had won a fourth consecutive national title in the all-around was 42 years ago.

“People think you have to be serious to do a good job,” she said. “But I think if you’re having fun, you can do better. You can look back someday and say, wow, I had a good time instead of being so stressed out.”

That’s easier said than done in elite gymnastics, a sport that can be a dangerous endeavor. One slip could break bones or tear ligaments, or possibly something worse. But this happy-go-lucky attitude in a grueling, often solemn sport works for Biles, the three-time defending world champion in the all-around. And it makes perfect sense that it works.

After all, it’s fun to compete when you win and win and when the word around the sport is that you’re the best gymnast ever. Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic gold medalist in the all-around in 1984, has called Biles the top gymnast in history. Nastia Liukin, the Olympic gold medalist in 2008, has said that Biles is a lock for the gold medal at the Rio Games in August and that the real competition is for second place.

During the two-day national championships here, which were a warm-up for next month’s Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., Martha Karolyi, the women’s national team coordinator, watched Biles’s routines closely — often with eyes opened extra wide.

After several of Biles’s big performances — and nearly all of them were big performances — Karolyi said, “Wow!” It was a substantial reaction from a woman who is the opposite of effusive: She gave two slow claps to Gabrielle Douglas’s floor exercise on Sunday, and Douglas is the reigning Olympic champion in the all-around.

Continue reading “FEATURE: Atop the Gymnastics World, National Champion Simone Biles Can’t Suppress Her Grin”

Gabby Douglas Wins American Cup, Pushes Towards Gold at 2nd Olympics

Gabby Douglas at American Cup (photo via Getty Images)
Gabby Douglas at American Cup (photo by Elsa via Getty Images)

article by Rachel Axon via usatoday.com

NEWARK, N.J. – The world championships silver medal should have been enough to erase any doubt in Gabby Douglas’ comeback.

Yes, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist is trying to do what has been a sometimes insurmountable task for many talented gymnasts – come back for a second Olympics. And Douglas isn’t coming back for some sort of participation ribbon.

But in case any doubts lingered, she put more to rest on Saturday.  Now 20, Douglas wants to achieve more in the Olympics. She set herself on that path by winning the American Cup at the Prudential Center, earning her first trip to the top of the podium since winning the Olympic all-around in London in 2012.

“From the bottom of my heart, I really believe that I can achieve more,” Douglas said. “And it’s just not for the wrong intentions. I’m like, ‘Guys, I’m back. I’m serious.’ I feel like gradually and the more and more I keep proving that, I really hope that people believe it.”

To be sure, part of those doubts are the challenge. Since 1980, only six American women have gone on to compete in a second Olympics. No woman has repeated as gold medalist since Věra Čáslavská in 1968.

Douglas hears the doubts about her and whether the comeback is for publicity. It’s not, or she wouldn’t be able to sustain herself through training.  Instead, she has the incredible urge former national team coordinator Bela Karolyi has seen in many other Olympians. Continue reading “Gabby Douglas Wins American Cup, Pushes Towards Gold at 2nd Olympics”