Simone Biles to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ judges: ‘Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals’

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After performing her Paso Trio dance on Monday night’s show of “Dancing with the Stars,” Olympic all-around gymnastics champion Simone Biles showed she didn’t appreciate the repeated criticism from the judges that she lacks emotion in her performances.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba praised Biles for smiling after doing a gymnastics trick during the dance, but also told her, “Sometimes you dance like a metronome, you’re so on the beat. I want to see if you can play a little bit, holding and extending.”

20-year-old Biles, who has yet to earn a perfect cumulative score this season, has often heard the judges say she needs to work harder to bring authentic emotions to her performances.

The usually sunny Biles was stonefaced as she listened to Inaba’s comments. When host Tom Bergeron asked why she didn’t crack a smile during the positive parts, Biles shot back, “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”

Inaba took the blunt retort in stride, pretending to slap herself across the face with a laugh.

20-year-old Biles, who won four gold medals and a bronze in Rio, and her partner Sasha Ferber, along with Brittany Cherry, scored 36 points for their Paso Trio, earning Biles and Ferber a spot in the Final Four.

Biles defended herself further when she spoke to reporters after the show.

“I’ve spent my whole entire life in the gym training for something I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl,” Biles said. “I think they think because I’m 20 I should’ve gone through those life experiences, but I missed out on all of that and that’s why I’m taking a year off and am trying to find it.”

She also told Entertainment Tonight, “I feel like I am trying, I am being honest, but if they don’t see that, I don’t know what more I can do… You don’t know which wild card of sexy or of happy they want to bring, and you almost have to read their minds and find it.”

Biles is the fifth Olympic gymnast to compete on “Dancing with the Stars.” Nastia Liukin and Aly Raisman finished fourth, while Shawn Johnson won the Mirror Ball Trophy in 2009 and Laurie Hernandez was crowned champion in 2016.

READ MORE: Nancy Kerrigan eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars”

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

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Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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