Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller recalls 1996 Olympic podium thoughts in book excerpt

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Seven-time Olympic medalist Shannon Miller looked back on her gymnastics career in “It’s Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life,” her recently released book.

In a provided excerpt, Miller goes back to her final Olympic competition, the Atlanta balance beam final on July 29, 1996.

Though Miller helped lead the U.S. team to gold in Atlanta, she was disappointed to finish eighth in both the all-around and vault finals, competing with an injured wrist.

In front of 40,000 people in the Georgia Dome, Miller was so cognizant in her final event as she performed on beam that she heard papers shuffling, nervous coughs and a gentleman on the left side of the arena yell, “Hey, buddy, shut your flash off!” to a photographer.

She hit her routine for a 9.862, taking the lead with four women still to perform, a score she couldn’t remember when a stranger quizzed her at an airport shortly after the Olympics. No other gymnast could beat her score, including the Olympic all-around champion Lilia Podkopayeva of Ukraine who followed Miller in the start order.

Miller’s final Olympic routine earned the first individual Olympic gold medal of her career and seventh total Olympic medal. She’s the most decorated U.S. Olympic gymnast of all time.

Here were her thoughts after receiving her gold medal, from “It’s Not About Perfect:”

As I stood on the podium, watching the American flag being raised, I thought about the people who had helped get me there, my team. You don’t land a gold medal alone; success is always a team effort. I thought of my parents, whose support of me never wavered. I thought of my coaches Steve and Peggy, who had stuck with me and were so patient with me—a young, determined, often frustrated control freak—for all of those years. Steve was often the one in the limelight but Peggy was also crucial to my success as a gymnast and in life. I also thought about how I had not retired after the 1992 Olympics and continued gymnastics simply because I loved the sport and the part it played in my life. I thought of how I trained up to eight hours a day with the thought of competing in an Olympics in my own country. I thought of how the hand specialist advised that I quit gymnastics rather than try for another Olympics. I thought about my painful wrist, which wouldn’t improve for years.

I also thought of how skeptical people were about my chances in Atlanta because I had grown six inches, gained thirty pounds, and aged four years. My mind was flooded with all the bad falls and disappointments and doubt. I thought of how important it was that I continued to get back up after each and every fall, and to move forward after every setback.

What was the story of that girl on the podium? Maybe it was that you cannot succeed if you don’t dare to try. That you must keep trying even after you fall on your backside. And that you should never let others decide how much you can achieve. Dream big, work hard, and don’t set limits on what you could do or be.

I had success because I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to. It didn’t matter that I was a girl or that I was small or that I was reserved. It didn’t matter that my parents didn’t have infinite resources. It wasn’t about perfect; it was about making the full effort. It was about setting goals and steadfastly refusing to be derailed. Keep passion alive. Many people don’t realize how strong they truly are until they are challenged. My sport did that for me. Gymnastics allowed me to see what I was made of. And when I had doubts or faced obstacles, it always reminded me.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Miller competed in the floor exercise final at the Atlanta Olympics.

NBA participation in Tokyo Olympics could be limited, Adam Silver says

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the Tokyo Olympics’ effect on the league’s schedule planning for 2021 is unclear, but that it’s possible that Olympic participation may be limited.

“There are a lot of great U.S. players, and we may be up against a scenario where the top 15 NBA players aren’t competing in the Olympics, but other great American players are competing,” Silver told Bob Costas on CNN on Tuesday. “Obviously, there are many NBA players who participate in the Olympics from other countries. That’s something we’re going to have to work through. I just say, lastly, these are highly unique and unusual circumstances. I think, just as it is for the Olympic movement, it is for us as well. We’re just going to have to sort of find a way to meld and mesh those two competing considerations.”

Silver said his best guess is that the next NBA season starts in January with a goal of a standard 82-game schedule and playoffs. A schedule has not been released.

In normal NBA seasons that start in late October, the regular season runs to mid-April and the NBA Finals into mid-June.

The Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremony is July 23. If an NBA season is pushed back two or three months to a January start, and the schedule is not condensed, the Olympics would start while the NBA playoffs are happening.

The current NBA season is in the conference finals phase in an Orlando-area bubble after a four-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a factor in our planning,” Silver said of the Olympics. “It would be tough for us to make a decision in January based on the Olympics happening on schedule when that’s so unclear.”

The NBA has participated in every Olympics since the 1992 Barcelona Games. Monday was the 29th anniversary of the announcement of the first 10 members of the original Dream Team on an NBC selection show (hosted by Costas).

Before the NBA era, U.S. Olympic men’s basketball teams consisted of college players.

MORE: When Michael Jordan lost in wheelchair basketball to Paralympian

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2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final