Source: Crazy Days and Nights

The permanent A+ list Olympic athlete has consistently refused to throw her ex under the bus for cheating on her.

Simone Biles

Stacey Ervin Jr.


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Simone Biles on Overcoming Abuse, the Postponed Olympics, and Training During a Pandemic

Female gymnasts typically peak as teenagers. And yet, when Biles returned to competition after Rio, at 21, she won national and international titles with almost workaday consistency. When Biles introduced a dangerous new skill on the competition circuit last fall—a “double–double” beam dismount, involving two flips and two twists—the International Federation of Gymnasts gave it a lower difficulty value than expected, in part to dissuade other gymnasts from trying it.

Comparisons with athletes may irritate Biles, but they are unavoidable, since gymnastics—whose punishing rigor is cloaked in glitter and sequins—requires some translation. She is often likened to living legends like Bolt, Phelps, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods. But a more apt reference may be Wilt Chamberlain, the imposing NBA center and statistical phenomenon who was so tall, so fast, and so sensationally good, the sport of basketball preemptively outlawed his mythical foul-line dunks.

In recent years, Biles’s rise has taken place against a horrific backdrop. The revelation that Larry Nassar sexually abused hundreds of gymnasts, including all five members of the 2012 Olympic team and four of the five members of the 2016 team, was the first horror. Then it became clear that Nassar had enablers—at Michigan State, where he was on faculty, but also at USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Amid the fallout, Biles emerged as a powerful check on her sport’s governing body. She is the only Olympic gymnast who disclosed abuse by Nassar and continued competing at the elite level. Her willingness to speak out from within the sport has made her an even bigger hero and invited yet more comparisons to iconic athletes with iron moral codes, like Muhammad Ali, though even this parallel is inexact. Sexual abuse inflicts a uniquely isolating mix of stigma and shame. – Source

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