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Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

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Simone Biles: AP Image

Spring, Texas – Simone Biles isn’t “cured.” Let’s start there. A cure indicates finality. The ultimate and final victory. If the gymnastics superstar had learned anything in the three years since those odd, unsure days in Tokyo when she prioritized her mental health and personal safety over her chase of additional Olympic gold, it is that the battle to defend oneself never truly ends. Only partially won.

It’s a lesson she learned in front of the entire world in Japan when Biles arrived as the face of the Summer Games only to withdraw from many competitions, including the team final because her body just stopped doing what her brain told it to do.

At that moment, Biles blamed “the twisties.” On the surface, she was correct. However, they emerged from something deeper and more difficult to define.

“She can’t even explain it (and) the doctors she sees probably can’t either,” said Laurent Landi, who has been coaching Biles with his wife Cecile since 2017. “It was a traumatic event that occurred at a horrible moment for her, and she was unable to deal with it. It’s as simple as this. She couldn’t function. “She couldn’t be a gymnast at the time.”

She can now, but the journey to this point — Biles will compete for the first time in 2024 at this weekend’s U.S. Classic — has been rough. It has taken a new perspective, at times a literal mother’s touch, and ongoing attention to work on herself, which she now realizes has no expiration date.

Biles tried to take all of the extra attention before Tokyo in stride. She portrayed a sense of normalcy. It was only a facade. Her pent-up emotions and aggressions eventually drove her to “crack.”

Biles was in therapy before Tokyo but had interrupted treatment before traveling abroad. With millions watching, she went off the floor at the Ariake Gymnastics Center after a misplaced vault in the women’s team final and contacted her family, who had stayed from home in Texas because of COVID-19 restrictions imposed for the games.

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Simone Biles: AP Image

Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

Nellie Biles answered the phone and heard her daughter exclaim through tears, “Mom, I really cannot do this.” “I’m lost; I can’t do this.”

So she didn’t. Biles withdrew from a few finals before returning to win bronze on the balance beam, a medal she considers one of the most meaningful of her career. As terrible and frightening as the experience was, it was necessary because it taught Biles that mental health is something she cannot ignore.

“I couldn’t run away from it, you know,” Biles told The Associated Press. “I just acknowledged it and stated, ‘Hey, this is what I’m going through. This is the assistance that I am going to receive.”

Help has driven Biles back to the top of her sport, with another Olympics on the horizon. Help manifests itself in various ways and often from unexpected locations

Biles is confident she is in a better place this time, thanks partly to weekly Thursday meetings with her therapist, which have become an immovable part of her schedule.

Biles went into a practically empty arena last fall in Antwerp, Belgium, for podium training before the world championships, her first team competition since Tokyo. Something about the scene triggered, as Nellie Biles describes it, “a PTSD moment.” Biles dashed off the floor to gather herself after being triggered by an unexpected event.

There were more tears. Increased anxiety. More calls. More reassurance.

“She almost didn’t go back out there,” Nellie Biles explained.

After being “a little bit hesitant,” Biles pushed through, thanks in part to the decision to meet with her therapist, which she rarely did close to competitions before commencing practice for the U.S. Classic in Chicago last summer

The US women were given the afternoon off, and some went to a chocolate factory. Biles opted to remain behind and FaceTime her therapist instead.

“I know how important it is for me to stay present, mindful and not be too anxious,” she stated. “So yes, we will keep that up.”

There were other home comforts in Belgium. Specifically, her family.

Every day, Nellie Biles went to Simone’s hotel room and braided her daughter’s hair for 30-45 minutes, which was a first.

“My daughter is (27) and I know (she) can braid her hair,” Nellie Biles remarked. “But it’s just that touch and closeness. It is that connectedness. It was just what she needed, and it worked.

The meet concluded in the same way that many others had during Biles’ decade-long reign at the top: with a fistful of medals packed in her suitcase for the return flight home, setting the stage for a potentially momentous Olympic year.

Before Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021, the idea of Olympic history threatened to—and occasionally did—overtake her.

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Simone Biles: AP Image

Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

It does not anymore. Life has, thankfully, gotten in the way.

One year ago, Biles married Jonathan Owens, the current Chicago Bears safety. The two are constructing a home in the Houston suburbs that will be completed (hopefully) in late summer or early fall

In some ways, she resembles many other 20-something brides in Biles’ orbit. For example, former Olympic teammate MyKayla Skinner had a daughter last September. A part of Biles thinks, “That’s what I should be doing.”

Instead, she’s “still flipping out here,” still making her way to the Biles family’s gym, the World Champions Centre, and practicing with other Olympic hopefuls, many of whom are nearly a decade younger and grew up idolizing her.

Why does she keep putting herself through this? Well, that’s the most important issue of all.

“I think everything I’ve been through, I want to push the limits,” she stated. “I want to see how far I can get. I want to see what I’m still capable of so that when I retire from this sport, I can be fully satisfied with my career and say I gave it my best.”

She is well aware of what may happen this summer that the millions captivated by what happened in Tokyo — from the crowds who cheered her on to the social media haters who labeled her a quitter or worse — would tune in to see if she cracks again.

Those closest to Biles believe she is better prepared for whatever may arise

“She knows something like (Tokyo) can happen because it did happen,” Landi stated. “So it’s just like, ‘OK, I’m going to be careful, I’m going to follow the same protocol every time and then I’m going to avoid (the pitfalls)’ and that’s all you can do.”

Is it the last time? She will not say. That is too far ahead. She does not frequently use the phrases “Paris” or “Olympics” in her chats. This may appear to be purposeful, but it is not. It’s just something she does.

“It’s not like I think that ‘Olympics’ is a plague and I’m trying to avoid it or trying not to say it,” she stated. “I just think there are other things I have to get to before that.”

The U.S. Classic, which takes place this weekend in Connecticut, will feature 2020 Olympic champion Sunisa Lee and 2012 Olympic champion Gabby Douglas. The United States Championships are later this month, and the Olympic Trials start in late June.

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Simone Biles: AP Image

Simone Biles Is Stepping Into The Olympic Spotlight Again. She Is Better Prepared For The Pressure

One turn, routine, rotation, and encounter at a time. With all of her tools, including her therapist, at the ready.

“I feel very confident with where I’m at mentally and physically, that (Tokyo) is not going to happen again just because we have put in the work,” she stated.

There is also something greater at risk here: a message sent by Biles to others. It’s OK to not be OK. It is acceptable to make yourself vulnerable and to be open and truthful about the process, no matter how messy it becomes.

She says she’s lost track of how many people have told her, “Because of you, I’m getting the proper help that I deserve.”

It can be jarring in certain ways. She never intended to become the face of this movement, but it happened anyway.

If Biles retreats to Tokyo rather than face her troubles full on, those folks may lack the guts to ask for something they desperately need. That’s a blessing from the recent Olympics that far transcends any medal.

“As unfortunate as it (was) … it’s exciting because I know that by speaking out it’s helping other people,” Biles stated. “And that’s what I’ve always wanted to do, inside this sport and outside this sport.”

So, she’ll salute the judges on Saturday and return to the spotlight.

No, she has not been cured. She is better, though, even if she is still a work in progress, as are so many others who found the strength to say “me too” after witnessing the biggest star in the American Olympic movement open up about her troubles with so much at risk

This is the true lesson of Tokyo. It was vital, no matter how difficult it felt at the time.

“It’s good that it happened,” Biles stated. “Because I don’t think I would have got the proper help that I need (without it).”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

Sports

Boxing Legend Mike Tyson Recovering after Inflight Medical Emergency

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Mike Tyson Recovering
Mike Tyson: Getty Images

Boxing legend Mike Tyson was recovering Monday after getting ill on a flight from Miami to Los Angeles the day before, according to his agents. The 58-year-old boxing legend “became nauseous and dizzy due to an ulcer flare up 30 minutes before landing” on Sunday.

“Thankfully, Mr. Tyson is doing great,” the statement read. “He is appreciative to the medical staff that were there to help him.”

First responders met American Airlines flight 1815 as it landed at LA International Airport “due to the medical needs of a customer,” according to an airline statement.

Tyson is planning to fight Jake Paul, a 27-year-old social media celebrity turned boxer, this summer at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, which seats 80,000 people. Netflix will broadcast the fight live, marking a first for the streaming platform.

Tyson was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990. He retired in 2005, but most recently competed in an exhibition versus Roy Jones in California in November of 2020.

Mike Tyson emerged on the boxing world as a fearsome and intimidating heavyweight. With his bald head, fierce scowl, and explosive power, he rapidly gained the nickname “Iron Mike.” In his prime, Tyson’s mix of speed and knockout punches made him an unstoppable force in the ring.

He won his first 19 professional fights via knockout, 12 of which came in the first round. At the age of 20, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. His reign of terror included the 91-second demolition of Michael Spinks and the 93-second annihilation of Carl Williams. Tyson’s savage attitude and ability to stop fights with a single strike made him must-see television.

However, Tyson’s life outside of the ring was turbulent. He suffered legal challenges, jail time, and personal difficulties. Losses, controversies, and an infamous 1997 bite fight all contributed to the end of his great career. Despite his shortcomings, Tyson enthralled spectators with his sheer power and left a lasting impression on boxing history.

Jake Paul and Mike Tyson trade insults

Jake Paul and Mike Tyson: Getty Images

Jake Paul and Mike Tyson trade insults

Jake Paul and Mike Tyson hurled obscenities and expletives as they previewed their fight just a few football fields from the planned June clash at the Dallas Cowboys’ 80,000-seat stadium.

In terms of substance, Thursday night offered little.

Paul denied that the 27-year-old social media star-turned-boxer still hasn’t faced a serious opponent, while Tyson just declined to answer a question regarding his age. The former heavyweight champion will be 58 years old when the match takes place on July 20 at AT&T Stadium.

“I haven’t seen too many people criticizing it. Look at this,” Tyson added, referring to the rowdy audience at an entertainment establishment near the fight location.

When a reporter mentioned there were detractors, Tyson responded, “Who? Please name me someone. You? Who?”

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has approved the fight as a professional battle, although it will only last eight two-minute rounds rather than ten or twelve three-minute rounds. The gloves will be heavier (14 ounces instead of 10), reducing the force of punches.

Tyson retired in 2005, but he most recently competed in an exhibition against Roy Jones in California in November 2000, which was not considered a professional bout. Tyson was largely agitated by the scene and the questions, particularly when asked what it meant to have the opportunity to fill AT&T Stadium.

“I was doing this years ago, so this is nothing new to me,” said Tyson, who won 50 fights and 44 knockouts before retiring. “This is new to this young boy over here.”

Entering to loud boos, Jake Paul responded with bad language and rude gestures before encouraging and leading the pro-Tyson audience in an expletive-laden chant.

“I hope you all keep that same energy when I knock this old man out,” stated Paul.

Paul has nine wins in ten fights, including three since his sole defeat to Tommy Fury, the teenage half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. One of his most recent victories was against former UFC fighter Nate Diaz in nearby Dallas.

“In due time, I will be fighting for a world championship,” Paul responded to the idea that he hasn’t fought a genuine opponent, which prompted Tyson’s ire. “And I will be making you eat your own words.”

Netflix is broadcasting the fight live, marking a first for the streaming service. Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano are the co-main event in a repeat of their fight at Madison Square Garden two years ago.

Paul amassed a sizable fan base as a YouTube influencer before pursuing a professional boxing career four years ago. Tyson was the undisputed world heavyweight champion from 1987 to 1990.

“I respect Mike,” Paul stated. “But it is time. It’s my turn now. “I will be remembered as the man who defeated Mike Tyson for the final time.”

Source: AP

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Harrison Butker Has No Regrets About Expressing His Beliefs During Recent Commencement Speech

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Harrison Butker | AP News Image

Harrison Butker, a Kansas City Chiefs kicker, had no remorse about expressing his ideas in a recent commencement speech. He claims to have received both support and “a shocking level of hate” from others.

Butker spoke Friday night at the Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Harrison Butker | AP news Image

Harrison Butker Has No Regrets About Expressing His Beliefs During Recent Commencement Speech

He made his first public remarks since his controversial recent commencement speech at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he said most women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having kids; argued some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America;” referred to a “deadly sin sort of pride that has a month dedicated to it” in an oblique reference to Pride month; and took aim at President.

“It is now, over the past few days, my beliefs or what people think I believe have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe,” Butker stated on Friday. “From the start, many people displayed alarming levels of hatred. However, as time passed, even those who disagreed with my ideas supported my religious freedom.

Butker said that he understands criticism for his on-field performance. The 28-year-old stated that he cherishes his religion more than football.

“It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all,” he stated.

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Harrison Butker | AP News Image

Harrison Butker Has No Regrets About Expressing His Beliefs During Recent Commencement Speech

The NFL has distanced itself from Butker’s remarks, stating that the comments and “views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said the three-time Super Bowl champion is entitled to his ideas, even if he doesn’t always agree.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce spoke about Butker on his “New Heights” podcast, saying he values him as a teammate.

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Harrison Butker | AP news Image

Harrison Butker Has No Regrets About Expressing His Beliefs During Recent Commencement Speech

“When it comes down to his views and what he said at (the) commencement speech, those are his,” said Kelce. “I can’t say I agree with the majority of it, or any of it, except from him loving his family and children. And I don’t think I should condemn him based on his beliefs about how to live life, particularly his religious beliefs; that’s just not who I am.”

Kelce hosts the podcast with his brother Jason, who recently retired following a stellar career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Leclerc’s Win Removes Monaco Millstone. Ferrari Boss Hopeful The Gap To Red Bull Is Closing

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Ferrrari | AP News Image

MONACO — Ferrari increased its win total from last season, while Charles Leclerc broke a two-year drought in Formula One with victory from pole position at Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari and McLaren are in a position to challenge Red Bull after eight races this season. This provides optimism for more competitive racing for all F1 fans.

“It’s exciting, and I hope it continues like this for the rest of the season,” Ferrari team principal Frédéric Vasseur said following Sunday’s race. “It will be up and down until the end.”

It wasn’t last season that Max Verstappen broke his own F1 record with an incredible 19 victories for Red Bull. His teammate Sergio Perez won twice, and the only non-Red Bull driver to win was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr.

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Ferrari | AP News Image

Leclerc’s Win Removes Monaco Millstone. Ferrari Boss Hopeful The Gap To Red Bull Is Closing

Leclerc and Sainz have one win each this year, as does McLaren’s Lando Norris. Red Bull now leads 5-3, with all of Verstappen’s victories, while Leclerc’s pole in Monaco on Saturday stopped Verstappen’s bid for a record-extending ninth consecutive pole.

Vasseur believes the momentum may be shifting.

“You have a kind of snowball effect,” Vasseur remarked. “You have to continue like this.

The 55-year-old Frenchman had known Leclerc since they worked together at Sauber in 2018 when Leclerc made his Formula One debut. They were reunited when Vasseur took over at Ferrari in December 2022, but Leclerc failed to win a race last year despite qualifying well with five pole positions.

Some of Leclerc’s performances were erratic. He made some sloppy blunders and lacked the calmness to match his undeniable speed: Leclerc and Verstappen are regarded as the fastest in Formula One.

Vasseur felt Leclerc was placing too much strain on himself, especially in Monaco. It’s where Leclerc grew up and, much to his dismay, where he had yet to finish on the podium before Sunday’s victory.

With family and friends watching him, especially Prince Albert, Monaco felt like a curse to Leclerc.

He qualified on pole in 2021 but could not start owing to a mechanical issue.

It was already frustrating, but the worst was yet to come.

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Ferrari | AP news Image

Leclerc’s Win Removes Monaco Millstone. Ferrari Boss Hopeful The Gap To Red Bull Is Closing

Leclerc led from pole in 2022 until Ferrari’s previous leadership made an unpredictable and erroneous decision to change his tires after 22 laps, costing him an odds-on victory.

Given all of this, Vasseur believes Leclerc’s victory on Sunday will free him up mentally.

“Winning in Monaco was a huge relief for him. “I think this one can help him,” Vasseur added. Last year, he felt a little nervous. This time, he was much more relaxed from the start

Leclerc concurred, stating that he slept quite well on Saturday night — but this was partially due to what he ate.

When he arrived home, Leclerc made a snap decision: disregarding his dietary restrictions, he ordered a massive pizza.

“I ate like crazy last night. I came home too late and couldn’t cook, so I ordered my favorite pizza, which isn’t the finest preparation for a marathon,” he explained. “But I thought, ‘OK, maybe mentally it will help me relieve some of the pressure.'” Yes, that’s it. I slept well.”

His favorite pizza?

ferrari

Ferrari | AP News Image

Leclerc’s Win Removes Monaco Millstone. Ferrari Boss Hopeful The Gap To Red Bull Is Closing

Margherita is a traditional recipe with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves, to which Leclerc adds his twist with “prosciutto crudo” (Italian dry-cured ham).

“Never pineapple,” he explained.

With the Monaco millstone gone, a refueled Leclerc can concentrate on climbing to the summit. He is second overall, 31 points behind three-time Formula One champion Max Verstappen.

Leclerc is convinced that his collaboration with Vasseur will be effective.

“He has a clear vision of what he wants to do and how he intends to accomplish it. “That’s his strength,” Leclerc explained. “I’ve always been completely aligned with how he wants to do things.”

The next stop for Ferrari is the Canadian Grand Prix, which takes place in two weeks.

Leclerc has good memories of Montréal, where he secured his second of 34 career F1 podiums in 2019.

SOURCE – (AP)

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