Simone Biles' full training session at Tokyo 2020 Olympics | NBC Sports

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NBC Sports 22 July, 2021 - 03:44am 18 views

Who is on the women's Olympic gymnastics team?

Simone Biles will lead the U.S. women, joined by Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum. Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner are the individuals. On the men's side, Brody Malone, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus and Sam Mikulak make up the four-member team, and Alec Yoder will compete as an individual. The Washington PostGymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics: Schedule, favorites, what to know

How old is Simone Biles?

Biles was born on March 14, 1997 and is currently 24 years old. She is the second-oldest member of this year's U.S. Olympic gymnastics team behind MyKayla Skinner, who will turn 25 in December. USA TODAYGet to know Simone Biles: Olympics star's 2021 schedule, age, career medal count and more

Simone Biles’ Parents Nellie And Ronald Are Legends Just Like Her

Yahoo Lifestyle 22 July, 2021 - 07:00am

Unfortunately, they won’t be able to attend the Tokyo Summer Games due to COVID-19 restrictions but, naturally, they’ll be there in spirit. This dynamic duo has been supporting Simone for many, many years.

While you gear up to watch Simone reach for Olympic gold again, it’s only natural to wonder about the couple who raised her. So, who are Nellie and Ronald Biles? Here’s what you need to know about Simone Biles' parents:

Ronald is actually Simone’s maternal grandfather, and Nellie is his wife. Simone has been open about her grandparents adopting her, but she tearfully shared on Dancing with the Stars in 2017 that they “saved” her.

"Growing up, my biological mom was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and she was in and out of jail," Simone said. "I never had mom to run to. I do remember always being hungry and afraid. At 3 years old, I was placed in foster care." Simone said she got to visit her grandparents during that time, and she was always “so excited” about it.

Simone said that her grandfather eventually told her, “OK, you know how you called us Grandma and Grandpa? You can call us Mom and Dad now, if you want to." Simone was adopted by her grandparents, and now calls them “Mom” and “Dad.”

"My parents saved me," she said. "They’ve set huge examples of how to treat other people, and they’ve been there to support me since day one. There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough."

They didn’t just adopt Simone: They also adopted her sister, Adria. They both had been in and out of foster care. Simone was six at the time.

In Simone vs. Herself, a seven-part docuseries on Facebook Watch, Nellie shared that it was tough for her to bond with Simone and Adria at first since she was already raising two sons of her own. “I knew I had my own barriers because these were not my biological children. You do everything that’s nurturing, that’s mothering, but emotionally, you still have to be there 100%,” she said.

Shanon did an interview with the Daily Mail in 2016, explaining it was “hard to give up my kids, but I had to do what I had to. I wasn’t able to care for them.”

“I was still using, and [Ronald] didn’t want me coming in and out of their lives when I wasn’t right,” she added.

She's been sober since 2007 and has worked as a home-help aid. Shanon speaks with Simone regularly, but conversations are short. "When I talk to Simone, it’s a brief conversation, like, 'I miss you, I love you, I can’t wait to see you, I’m proud of you, I’m watching," she explains. "You go girl.'"

Simone’s biological father, Kelvin Clemons, is not in touch with his daughter. Though he's not in the athlete's life, "he knows that’s his daughter and he’s very proud of her," Shanon told the publication.

And Simone trains there, of course. "Representation matters, and we want to inspire the next generation to pursue their passion," Simone told Health, of training at her parents’ Black-owned gym. "Kids can come in and we will be training in the back, and they can see we are just like them. It helps them understand they can do it, too."

The aptly named World Champions Centre is 56,000 square feet and located in Simone's home town of Spring, Texas. It offers a wide variety of classes and training for all levels and ages.

Amazing athleticism clearly runs in the family.

Their results came in after landing in Tokyo.

When it comes to elite gymnastics, the days of the famed "perfect 10" are long gone. Today, gymnastics is scored using a complex, two-pronged system, with one set of points awarded for the difficulty of a gymnast's skills and another set awarded for how well those skills are executed.

When little Sophia saw the cardboard cut-out of Simone Biles smiling at her, she smiled back in the sweetest way — and now the touching footage is going viral.

"It’s gonna suck not having friends and family there," says one member of Team USA.

Biles wore chunky white sneakers to enter the 2021 Olympic Village in Tokyo, Japan.

@nbcolympics My heavens, Simone Biles. #gymnastics #gymtrials21 #tokyoolympics #fyp ♬ original sound - NBCOlympics Simone Biles could post a video of herself opening the mail, and I would be captivated.

If you’ve ever wanted to see Megan Rapinoe, Naomi Osaka or Simone Biles perform their impressive feats up close, now you can. We’re bringing some of the world’s best athletes to AR in Search.

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Tokyo Olympics | Sam Mikulak

WCNC 22 July, 2021 - 07:00am

Olympics live updates: Simone Biles trains in Tokyo

The Washington Post 21 July, 2021 - 06:00pm

The most cost-effective ways to watch the Olympics

IOC reverses course, will include protests in highlights, on social media

Novak Djokovic, heavy favorite to win gold, happy Juan Martin del Potro isn’t in Tokyo

Sha’Carri Richardson arrives (in video form at least)

American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is out after positive test

Every Olympics faces challenges. This one faces more than usual from within.

Australian swim star Kaylee McKeown scratches from 200 IM to focus on backstroke events

Tokyo 2020′s stands sit ready for the fans who will never sit in them

The Australian swimmer who could unseat Katie Ledecky

U.S. coach ‘comfortable’ with unvaccinated swimmer Michael Andrew’s Tokyo routine

Simone Biles practices her Yurchenko double pike, the world’s most difficult vault

Men’s soccer competition opens with eight-game slate, no U.S. team

Why do different countries excel at different Olympic sports?

Organizers reveal Opening Ceremonies protocols, address testing numbers

Meet Skippy, Australian softball’s trippy mascot

The most cost-effective ways to watch the Olympics

IOC reverses course, will include protests in highlights, on social media

Novak Djokovic, heavy favorite to win gold, happy Juan Martin del Potro isn’t in Tokyo

Sha’Carri Richardson arrives (in video form at least)

American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is out after positive test

Every Olympics faces challenges. This one faces more than usual from within.

Australian swim star Kaylee McKeown scratches from 200 IM to focus on backstroke events

Tokyo 2020′s stands sit ready for the fans who will never sit in them

The Australian swimmer who could unseat Katie Ledecky

U.S. coach ‘comfortable’ with unvaccinated swimmer Michael Andrew’s Tokyo routine

Simone Biles practices her Yurchenko double pike, the world’s most difficult vault

Men’s soccer competition opens with eight-game slate, no U.S. team

Why do different countries excel at different Olympic sports?

Organizers reveal Opening Ceremonies protocols, address testing numbers

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Meanwhile, more details about Friday’s festivities are emerging. Hours after organizers announced they had fired the director of the Ceremonies for a past antisemitic remark, they revealed that only 950 stakeholders will attend and flag-bearers and other athletes in attendance will be required to wear masks.

On the playing fields, the U.S. softball team earned its second consecutive win, 1-0 over Canada. Elsewhere, the men’s soccer competition is getting underway.

Follow along for live updates from the Games.

The bright yellow, inflatable boxing kangaroo stands three feet tall and is a trippy spectator beside the dugout for Australia’s softball team as he stands with his dukes (in green boxing gloves) up. He even made an appearance with left fielder Jade Wall, pitcher Kaia Parnaby and Coach Laing Harrow in a news conference following the team’s 1-0 victory Thursday over Italy in Fukushima. Australia is 1-1 after losing to Japan in their opener.

Evidently, he’s a shy fellow because he chose to let the others speak for him.

“He loves to entertain, loves coming to the games,” Wall told reporters (via the Associated Press). “Everywhere we go he seems to be a fan favorite with the locals and it puts a smile on their face. We want to bring entertainment on the field, and he’s got the entertainment off the field for us.”

Skippy takes his name from “Skippy the Bush Kangaroo,” an Australian television series that ran from 1968-70. Skippy was a young boy’s pet and a movie, “Skippy and the Intruders,” followed. The inflatable Skippy has been a veteran presence for the national team since 2009.

“They’re very special back home for us as Australians,” Wall said, “so to bring him on all of those trips, I know he gets a buzz out of it. We love him.”

Perhaps the complexity isn’t surprising. Comcast, which owns NBC, makes most of its money from the Olympics through traditional broadcast TV ads and by driving people to sign up for cable subscriptions. On the other hand, this is the age of warring streaming services and a younger generation that uses smartphones like TVs. (Own an old-fashioned TV? With cable? In this economy?) At some point, the Olympics are going to have to catch up.

This guide will help you find the most cost-effective way to watch. We studied NBC’s programming plan and the International Olympic Committee’s strict rules about what can be put online and where. Do you have to sign up for Peacock? (It’s your best free bet.) Can you borrow a cable log-in? (If we’re “family.”) Will athletes be streaming live from the medal podium? (Absolutely not.) And will you get in trouble for using a clip on TikTok? (Still unclear.)

We’ve gathered and answered some of the most burning questions about how to watch the Summer Olympics. Let us know what we missed through our Washington Post Help Desk, and we’ll continue to update this piece.

Players from five women’s soccer teams took a knee to raise awareness about racial injustice before their games Wednesday. On the first day of competition, there were demonstrations, and more took place Thursday, with the IOC relaxing its rule banning protests beginning with these Games. None of that was visible, however, in the official highlights package provided by the IOC to media outlets that could not broadcast the Games live or on official social media channels.

“The IOC is covering the Games on its owned and operated platforms and such moments will be included as well,” the IOC announced in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday.

American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos made the most famous protest, raising a fist on the medal podium and being expelled from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. The IOC has long sought to keep the Games apolitical. Charter Rule 50 states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

This is a different time, however, and the IOC adjusted by relaxing the rule. Demonstrations, like those Wednesday, will not be punished as long as they take place before competition begins and not on the podium during medal ceremonies.

Djokovic is the heavy favorite to win gold in Tokyo, and not just because of his 34-3 match record and three Grand Slam titles he’s won this year entering the Olympics. His two greatest rivals are both sitting out the Games, with Roger Federer bowing out due to a knee injury and Rafael Nadal taking time off with next month’s U.S. Open in his sights.

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are all tied with a record 20 Grand Slam titles apiece, but winning gold in Tokyo would keep alive the Serb’s hopes of becoming just the second player to capture all four major titles and a gold medal in the same year. Only Steffi Graf has done so, in 1988.

“I’m not in contact with Steffi,” Djokovic said at a news conference Thursday, “but if you could contact her for me so she can tell me how she did it.…”

There is one name the 34-year-old is glad not to see in the draw: Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine, who has dealt with chronic injuries in the past few years, beat Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the London Games and in the first round in Rio in 2016. Djokovic won a bronze medal in 2008.

“I am happy that del Potro is not here.… I wrote him that,” Djokovic joked. “But I’m happy to see him back on the tennis court.”

In the women’s singles tournament, Japan’s Naomi Osaka is set to make her return to the court against China’s Zheng Saisai after a mental health break.

She is part of a new Beats by Dre ad campaign that teamed her with Kanye West. In a new video clip, Richardson is shown warming up for a race, settling into the starting blocks and preparing to take off to the sound of a song by West, who also edited the brief piece.

The lyrics are from “No Child Left Behind” on West’s new album, “Donda,” with the refrain, “He’s done miracles on me.”

“There will be ups and down in life,” she wrote on Instagram, “but it’s important to remember to RUN YOUR OWN RACE.”

Richardson ran a 10.86-second 100 in qualifying for the Olympics, but tested positive for THC, the chemical found in marijuana. Although the drug is legal in many states, THC is a banned substance for Olympians and Richardson was suspended from the sport for a month. She took responsibility for her decision to use marijuana, saying she did so after learning of the death of her biological mother.

Crabb said he had been taking “every precaution, getting vaccinated and following protocols” in an Instagram post. In his place, Tri Bourne will compete with Jake Gibb. Crabb said he was “symptom-free, thankfully, but deeply disappointed.”

“I’ve faced adversity before and I will face it again,” he continued, “but it doesn’t take the sting out of the situation. I want Jake to play in his fourth Olympic Games and I want him to bring home a medal. Tri Bourne, an incredible athlete, person and close friend, will be competing alongside Jake and filling my spot on Team USA. While there is no question that I’m devastated to not be competing, I’ve now taken on a new role — supporting my new team, [Coach] Rich [Lambourne], Jake and Tri. I want to send positive vibes and negative test results to all athletes here in Tokyo — stay healthy and enjoy every moment.”

Crabb tested positive upon his arrival at the Tokyo airport last weekend and subsequent tests also were positive. The beach volleyball tournament begins Saturday at Shiokaze Park. Gibb and Bourne begin play Sunday night against Italy.

The Olympics have outgrown themselves, grotesquely so. That is true in normal times. In a pandemic, it is laid bare. In a lead-in in which the drip-drip-drip of news has been unrelentingly negative, it seems particularly stark.

“We are actually facing a lot of challenges right now,” Toshiro Muto, the Tokyo 2020 CEO, said Thursday.

“I guess there are still a lot of people that are not feeling easy about the opening of the Games,” added Seiko Hashimoto, the organizing committee’s president.

That’s the reality of these Olympics, even before they start. They will be monitored not just to see whether the coronavirus spreads through the Olympic Village and through the Japanese population, which isn’t as vaccinated as it could be. But they also will be scrutinized for how the athletes respond to the opportunity afoot, however bizarre it might be. If the Games’ slogan of “United by Emotion” means anything, what emotion — in the midst of all this — might unite the athletes?

“It’s a big call … and I respect the decision,” Taylor said two days before the start of the Olympic swim meet.

McKeown, 20, would have been a medal favorite in the 200 IM, in which she was expected to battle Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu for the gold. Her scratching left the Australian team, which has its sights set on unseating the United States for world supremacy at these Games, without an entrant in either of the women’s IM events in Tokyo.

However, McKeown remains the gold medal favorite in both the 100-meter and 200-meter backstrokes. She is ranked No. 1 in the world in both this year and set the world record at 100 meters during the Australian Olympic trials last month. She is also expected to swim the backstroke leg in both the women’s and the mixed medley relays.

However, swimming that program plus the 200 IM would have left her with “doubles” — two races in the same session — on both Monday and Tuesday.

Walks through some of the facilities in the Tokyo Bay zone have uncovered soaring sections of steel stands with plastic seats silently waiting to be filled. Tucked in the seats of the sun-splashed Ariake Urban Sports Park’s skateboard facility, for instance, are special silver seating pads, designed to cool spectators’ backsides, that Tokyo 2020 organizers had hoped to pass out.

Who knows how long the pads will linger there. For the next week? The next month? Until the stands — which are temporary — are dismantled and hauled away? Will someone actually remove the pads? Or will they stay strapped to the chair bottoms as the seats are taken off to whatever place they go next?

At the spectacular three-on-three basketball arena inside the Aomi Urban Sports Park, the cooling pads have been used to spell out the name “Aomi” in a socially distant hope they will be used — which they will not.

Instead, it seems the Games will go on in the ghost-like silence of the bright blue, orange and green seats and the silver seat cushions designed to cool the behinds of the fans who will never sit upon them.

“I remember watching her races,” Titmus said, “and thinking, ‘This chick is nuts.’”

Ledecky has redefined the outer limits of athletic potential during her historic career, breaking convention with her stroke and her training and applying a sprinter’s mentality to her sport’s longest races, so it was inevitable that someday someone would come along — young, hungry and emboldened by her example — to knock her off her throne.

Based on recent performance, betting odds and popular opinion, it’s possible, even probable, that day has arrived.

Among those measures, according to Durden: Andrew has at times practiced at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre with “minimal” other people around.

“I feel very comfortable about what he’s doing, where he’s at, how he’s operating,” Durden said two days before the start of the Olympic swim meet. “Even today, he was over at the pool with very minimal people. And that was a little bit by his schedule. We’re looking at a couple things now as coaches: Trying to get him to swim fast, that’s our utmost priority for him. Continuing to have him feel safe, continuing to have the athletes around him feel safe. I feel good about what we’re doing with our precautions.”

Maya DiRado, a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team who is now retired, was critical of Andrew’s decision to remain unvaccinated, saying in a Twitter thread she was “disappointed” Andrew would put “even a bit of risk on his teammates for his own perceived well-being.”

Asked Thursday whether any of Andrew’s current U.S. teammates have expressed any resentment towards Andrew, Durden replied, “No resentment.”

No female gymnast had ever performed a double-flipping Yurchenko vault in competition until Biles did so in May at the U.S. Classic. Most of her peers do a Yurchenko vault, which means there is a round-off onto the springboard and a back handspring onto the table, but they only do one flip while adding as many as two-and-a-half twists.

If Biles successfully completes this skill in competition here in Tokyo, it will be named for her. She already has four eponymous skills — another vault, a double-twisting double tuck dismount on beam, a double layout with a half twist on floor and a triple-twisting double tuck on floor.

Biles will be the favorite to win the gold medal on vault, even if she doesn’t perform the Yurchenko double pike in the event final. During this training session, she also practiced an Amanar (a Yurchenko with a two-and-a-half twist) and a Cheng (a round-off onto the springboard, then a half twist onto the vault and a front flip with a one-and-a-half twist off the table).

The women’s gymnastics competition begins Sunday.

All 16 teams that qualified will compete in eight games held at four venues: Sapporo Dome, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, Tokyo Stadium and Yokohama International Stadium. All times Eastern.

Group play will run through Wednesday before eight teams advance to a knockout stage, which culminates with the gold medal game Aug. 7. Oddsmakers view Spain and Brazil as the leading gold medal favorites in the competition for under-23 squads.

The women’s soccer competition opened Wednesday, when the United States lost, 3-0, to Sweden in its opener. The U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the Games.

Yes, the superpowers crush the overall medal count, but drill deeper and you’ll find plenty of odd and interesting examples of Olympic domination, especially in sports U.S. viewers rarely see in prime time.

Who will dominate what, and why? The clues are often in the history of the country, and the sport.

Simone Biles

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