NY Times – Simone Biles article

JULIET MACUR:

… “I’m not thinking about being in the Olympics,” the gymnast, Simone Biles, said. “Well, at least I’m trying not to think about it.”

Biles is the best American gymnast since, well, probably ever. She is 4 feet 9 inches, with size 5 feet, but there’s an unfathomable amount of power packed into her petite package. …

Biles wrote her goals for 2016 in a leather-bound journal that Nike, her sponsor, gave her after she turned professional last summer. When we met in January, she let me leaf through the pages. There was not one mention of a gold medal anywhere. …

NY Times – For World’s Top Gymnast, a Body in Motion and a Mind at Rest

Simone

Kohei’s Worlds and Olympic Gold medals

Click through to see them.

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Jesse Owens 1936 Berlin Olympics

Nick Zaccardi:

“More Than Gold: Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympics,” a one-hour documentary on the track and field legend, will air on NBC on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET. …

“… the story of a pioneering athlete, who in the face of racial discrimination at home and the horrific theories and practices of Nazi Germany, performed at his best under immense pressure,” …

NBC

Click PLAY or watch it on NBC.

African American Olympians

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month.

Going back to 1980, there are 11 African Americans who made the USA Gymnastics Olympic Team.

Luci Collins (1980)
Ron Galimore (1980)
Charles Lakes (1988)
Betty Okino (1992)
Dominique Dawes (1992, 1996, 2000)
Jair Lynch (1992, 1996)
Chainey Umphrey (1996)
Tasha Schwikert (2000, 2004-alt.)
Annia Hatch (2004)
Gabby Douglas (2012)
John Orozco (2012)

There were a total of 11 Olympic Medals won:

Dominique Dawes (4) 1 Gold, 3 Bronze
Gabby Douglas (2) 2 Gold
Annia Hatch (2) 2 Silver
Betty Okino (1) 1 Bronze
Jair Lynch (1) 1 Silver
Tasha Schwikert (1) 1 Bronze

WENDY HILLIARD GYMNASTICS FOUNDATION

Ron Galimore today works for USAG
Ron Galimore today works for USAG

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. …

Vasiliki Millousi interview

Interesting and detailed. Vasiliki is very well spoken.

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Vasiliki: If I could go back in time, I think that I would make the same choices. I have no regrets, even though I’ve been through lots of hard times.

The road is not easy at all but I think I would do the same things, I think that I would even make the same mistakes because we learn from our mistakes and each mistakes has made me wiser. I’m not wise, but I learn from every mistake, and especially my mistakes during competitions. I just would advise myself to be a bit tougher. …

Interviewers: … So what are your biggest accomplishments?

Vasiliki: I have lots of medals from national championships and world cups. I think I have about 13 medals from world cups, including a gold from the London Test Event, I have been a 5 times European finalist, a world finalist and a two times Olympian. I have 3 Mediterranean medals, a gold a silver and a bronze and I have been first at FIG’s ranking twice. And I’m hoping to finish with an Olympic gold… you know (laughs) This would be way too hard …

Interviewers: You’ve said that you’re retiring after Rio?

Vasiliki: Yes, I think yes, that’s what I’ve said. I’m a bit reluctant because I have said that I’m stopping after Rio but I said the same before London. …

Interviewers: I have a question about something that surprised me quite a bit. There was a time when you stopped gymnastics quite early. If I’m not mistaken, you left after the world championships of Debrecen in 2002

Vasiliki: No, I also competed at the European championships of 2003 and I left the sport in 2003. Actually, I didn’t leave. It was kind of obligatory!

Interviewers: Did the federation pressure you?

Vasiliki: Yes. It was the federation’s decision. They sent me a piece of paper, saying “Thank you very much for what you have offered but you are now old and the young athletes coming up are stronger and there’s nothing more you can offer. Best of luck in your future career” …

Vasiliki Millousi: “it’s all about the journey”

One of the most artistic Artistic gymnasts competing today, click PLAY or watch a 2013 montage on YouTube.

coach Philippe Rizzo

The 2006 World H Bar Champion from Australia.

… “Every coach at every step of the way is no more important than another.

Especially with me now coaching the juniors, [I can see] it’s really important at every stage to have a good support network, which comes from parents as well as coaches.

It’s really important that everyone’s working together and has good communication and that the athlete is the centre of everything…making sure that everything is supporting the athlete, and not overburdening them.” …

Philippe Rizzo: From World Champion to Coach

Iowa Men’s 1st National Championship 1969

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. (14min)

related – Iowa’s Men’s Gymnastics History site

via NCAA MEN’S GYMNASTICS ALUMNI Facebook page