Getty Images

Aly Raisman will not try for Tokyo Olympics, report says

Leave a comment

Aly Raisman will not return to gymnastics for a Tokyo Olympic bid, according to a report.

“I plan to be in Tokyo to cheer everyone on,” Raisman said, according to People magazine.

The report follows spring 2018 news that Raisman, who last competed at the Rio Olympics, said she probably would not return to competition at all, according to In Style magazine. Raisman’s agent has not confirmed or denied the reports.

Raisman, 25, would be ending her Olympic career as one of the most successful, dependable and admirable gymnasts in U.S. history, captaining both the 2012 and 2016 gold-medal teams as the oldest member.

She earned three medals at each Olympics, finishing one medal shy of Shannon Miller‘s career record of seven for a U.S. Olympic gymnast. Simone Biles has five.

Fittingly in 2012, the suburban Boston native clinched the U.S.’ first Olympic team title since 1996 by performing the last routine on floor exercise. Two days later, Raisman experienced her toughest Olympic moment, missing out on an all-around medal via tiebreaker.

She rebounded with a balance beam bronze and a gold on floor exercise, much to the delight of parents Lynn and Rick, who went viral during the Games for their nervous reactions to watching their oldest of four children compete. Raisman called the floor finale “the routine of my life.”

She took two years off from competition after London, then made her third world championships team in 2015. By the 2016 Olympic Trials, she was considered a lock for the five-woman team. She and Gabby Douglas became the first women in 16 years to make multiple U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams.

Rio marked Raisman’s best international meet. She helped the U.S. to repeat team gold, then finished second to Biles in the all-around and on floor exercise.

Turns out, Raisman’s last meet came 20 years after her Olympic inspiration. Though Raisman was only 2 at the time, Lynn taped the Magnificent Seven’s team title. Raisman watched it for the first time at age 8. It became daily viewing.

Two weeks after Rio, Raisman said she planned to return to the gym in 2017 ahead of a competitive comeback for 2020.

“I took a full year off in 2012. I’m going to do the same thing, take a year off, and then I’ll begin training again,” Raisman said then. “I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012. It’s even better now. So I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020.”

Everything changed in November 2017, when Raisman released her autobiography, “Fierce,” and came forward as a Larry Nassar sexual abuse survivor.

The Associated Press reported that a 2020 Olympic comeback seemed “trivial” compared to Raisman’s new calling as an advocate for abuse survivors and taking on organizations and individuals at fault.

“This is the focus,” Raisman said then, according to the AP.

She filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics in March 2018, claiming they “knew or should have known” about Nassar’s abusive patterns.

Biles is the only Rio 2016 team member to compete at the elite level since Rio.

Laurie Hernandez, the Rio balance beam silver medalist, plans to return to competition in 2020 for a Tokyo bid. Hernandez last competed in Rio.

Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion, has not ruled out a return, according to NBC’s affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth last weekend.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Simone Biles to headline post-Olympic gymnastics tour

Sky Brown, 11-year-old Olympic skateboard hopeful, suffers serious injuries in fall

Sky Brown Skateboard Fall
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sky Brown, an 11-year-old British Olympic skateboarding hopeful, recently suffered her worst fall, requiring surgery, she said in a video posted from a hospital bed.

Brown suffered skull fractures and broke her left wrist and hand and was at first unresponsive upon arrival to a hospital, according to the BBC, which quoted her father.

Video of the fall from a skateboarding ramp was posted on her social media. She appeared to be wearing a helmet in the video.

“I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them because I want people to see the fun in what I do,” Brown said. “But this was my worst fall, and I just want everyone to know that, it’s OK, don’t worry. I’m OK. It’s OK to fall sometimes. I’m just going to get back up and push even harder. I know there’s a lot of things going on in the world right now. I want everyone to know that whatever we do, we’ve just go to do it with love and happiness.”

Brown is the 2019 World bronze medalist in the new Olympic sport’s park discipline.

Later Tuesday, Brown reposted an Instagram post from what appeared to be her father’s account. The caption of that post said Brown fell 15 feet to flat concrete.

“I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital,” the caption read. “We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive.

“4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks.”

View this post on Instagram

Last week the worst thing I could ever ever imagined happened to @skybrown . She fell about 15ft off the side of a vert ramp to flat concrete. I held her in my arms and she bled helplessly moaning in and out of consciousness waiting for the helicopter to take her to the Hospital. We spent the night sick and terrified not knowing if Sky was going to make it through the night, as the ICU team tried to get her conscious and kept her alive. We prayed and begged God to give Sky another chance. Word came back while she was still unconscious, multiple fractures to her skull, a broken left arm, which she broke into pieces because she used it to break her fall, broken right fingers and lacerations to her heart and lungs. 4 days later Sky sits across from me with her full memory back, smiling, watching TikTok while Eating her favorite bad snacks. More importantly her Doctors and the trauma team say it’s a miracle how well she is dealing with the pain and recovering incredibly fast. They said it’s shocking and believe it’s because of her grit, positivity and attitude. Skys brother @oceanbrown has been so brave. He saw his sister fall to the ground lying in a pool of blood and was screaming in tears that night outside of the hospital. He has still not allowed into the hospital to see her. They miss each-other dearly, but no siblings are allowed to enter the hospital because of coronavirus. They’ve been spending hours a day on FaceTime with each other making funny faces to one another in fits of giggles and laughter. Sky promises Ocean daily that she will make a fast recovery so they can be together again. Sky is constantly joking and smiling and it’s hurts my heart to even imagine for a second a world without Sky; extremely thankful that I don’t have to. Thank you to the heroes that are the doctors, nurses and hospital staff that have tirelessly worked on her and helped her get to this point.

A post shared by SB (@thestewgravy) on

 

Ted Ligety confirms he’ll ‘finish it off’ at 2022 Olympics

Ted Ligety
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ted Ligety, a two-time U.S. Olympic Alpine skiing champion, plans to race through the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, looking to break Bode Miller‘s record as the oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history.

Ligety detailed the plans for the rest of his career in interviews with NBC Sports and SkiRacing.com this spring.

“Two final years and finish it off at the Olympics,” Ligety told Mike Tirico on Lunch Talk Live.

Previously, the 35-year-old had not announced whether he would make a push for a fifth Winter Games. But since he’s planning to race the 2020-21 season, it makes sense to extend it to the Olympic year.

“At this point, I guess I’m shooting for the Olympics,” Ligety said in a SkiRacing.com podcast published last week. “If I was going to go this year, I was going to go the next year. It kind of seems silly to stop the year before the Olympics. So, go through then and then definitely be done. So, 37, I’d definitely be an old guy at the Olympics. Actually, my body’s been feeling better this year than it has in probably the five years prior to this.”

Ligety, a gold medalist in the 2006 Olympic combined and 2014 Olympic giant slalom, would break Miller’s age record. Miller tied for super-G bronze in his fifth and final Olympics in 2014 at age 36. Come 2022, Ligety will be older than any U.S. Olympic male skier in any discipline since ski jumper Peder Falstad at the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics, according to Olympedia.org.

Before last season, Ligety said he would not race much longer if his best result for the year was eighth place, as it was in 2018-19. In 2019-20, he posted fifth- and seventh-place finishes while limiting his schedule to almost exclusively giant slaloms.

“I feel like I’m starting to progress again to the point where I feel like I can start winning races,” he said.

Ligety is trying to return to the top of the sport after a string of significant injuries: a hip labrum tear in 2015, a season-ending ACL tear in 2016 and season-ending surgery for three herniated disks in his back in 2017.

“If my body falls apart and all that, then I guess I’ll revisit things,” he said. “But trying hard to persevere and try to preserve the body in a way that I’m able to push hard through races and not be battling through pain.”

Also on his mind: a 2-year-old son, Jax, and twins on the way.

“Family life is about to get exponentially more hectic,” he said.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Anna Veith’s retirement leaves Austria Alpine skiing in unfamiliar territory