I watched the Rio Olympics with my two teenage daughters. It was the U.S. women athletes who would come to dominate the Games, winning 27 golds and 61 total medals -- six more than the mens overall tally. This was edifying, especially for my girls, who found themselves unexpectedly stirred and rooting for women whose excellence and achievement were not up for debate-women whose dedication, fortitude and will broke through the media clutter, leveled false gods and showed us all what greatness can and should look like.And then there was Simone Biles.Biles, 19, came into the Olympics not simply a favorite but a legend, her exceptionalism as rousing as a drum line, an athlete soaring so far above her peers she may as well have been eyeing them from space. The Nadia Comaneci narrative-that of the adorable imp who stunned the world with unprecedented perfection-wasnt for her.It was assumed that Biles would be perfect, her superiority a given. Her mind-bending world championship triumphs had already offered a preview of coming dominance: Biles the proverbial gun at the knife fight. And this, arguably, is a much harder burden to bear.There is the risk of potential humiliation, of letting people down, of not being the gilded, galloping unicorn youve been advertised to be. A favorite is not allowed to falter. A lock can never be a surprise. Worse, confidence can read as smugness, inviting schadenfreude. America is nothing if not invested in the narrative of the underdog.Biles has never been the underdog in the gym. She has had agonizing struggles over the years, notably entering foster care after her birth mother lost the ability to care for her and her sister because of drug addiction. Biles, whose grandparents became her parents when she was 6, took pains to busy herself with things she could control, like learning how to do back handsprings in her yard. When the role life handed her was too limiting, Biles rewrote the script and gave herself better lines.So it was with her gymnastic career, in which she quickly conquered every skill and maneuver on offer. And still she kept working, doing the hard math.She learned how a slight feint to the right midair would rotate her body like a pinwheel in the wind. She calculated how many steps it took to launch her body twice her height above the mat. She embraced dismounts no one else dared try. Then she added flair. Joyful punctuation-a shimmy, a leap, a swivel of the hip-showmanship married to excellence that delighted all fortunate enough to see her compete.There are others who have inhabited their significance thus, the rare few who possessed enough confidence to play, even as they fought to be the best in the world. Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Jim Thorpe. Muhammad Ali. Artists, like Biles, who left us gasping and misty-eyed at their performances even though we already knew the ending. Magicians who mastered every trick, then invented new ones.Such was the case with Biles in Rio, where she cemented her status in the athletic firmament with every stuck landing, a physical planting of the flag on a planet all her own. My girls watched her, applauding victory after victory, never tiring of her virtuosity, Biles pre-eminence a comfort of sorts, like that of a superhero coming to save the day. She bobbled once on the beam, a steadying hand that let us know she was, in fact, human, but that second no more defined her Olympic showing than a stray thread on a couture suit.Here was a woman who knew, to the millimeter, how far she had to run. Here was a woman who bent physics to her will. Here was a woman who found balance in the air. Here was a woman unafraid of a blind landing. Here was a woman who wouldnt choke, wouldnt let us down, a woman we could trust to take care of business.Here was a woman who also happened, just by her very existence, to be forcing every coming generation to do better. Because she did better. (A lot better.) And with that mandate came the comfort of knowing better could still be done, that our future could be as bright and certain as we dared allow. Brazil Cassio World Cup Jersey
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.com) - The Montreal Canadiens embark on their first road trip of the season as they head out west to battle the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Bird always thought the Indiana Pacers needed to score more often.Now, he may have a point guard who can finally get it done.After acquiring Indianapolis native Jeff Teague in a three-team deal and making several other significant moves this summer, the Pacers will report to training camp next week with a new coach, an overhauled roster and a brand new opportunity to win an NBA championship.George Hill was great for us, but I think he was more of a half-court player who did a really good job, new coach Nate McMillan said Wednesday before the Pacers annual pre-camp golf outing at Brickyard Crossing. I think Teague will be able to do both (half-court and up-tempo) for us. We want him to look to establish that tempo in transition and we havent really had that guy in the four years Ive been here.For Teague, this is more just than a homecoming -- its a fresh start for a 28-year-old point guard oozing with talent.He needs it.A year ago, the expectation was that Teague would follow up his first All-Star season by taking the next logical step and emerging as one of the NBAs elite point guards. Instead, his minutes, scoring and assist totals all declined as Atlanta decided to go in a different direction.After the season, Teague used Twitter to explain he had played the entire season with a partially torn patellar tendon in his knee.While the injury required rest and an injection, it didnt require surgery. Bird wasnt scared off, and now it looks like the gamble could pay dividends.In the workouts, he looked fine, Bird said. Its not two-a-days yet, so you really dont know yet, but its encouraging. From all indications, he looks pretty good.Not long ago, the Pacers and Teague seemed like an unlikely pairing.During the 2009 draft, Teague wanted the Pacers to select him at No. 13. Instead, Bird took former North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough, and Teague went to Atlanta at No. 19.In 2013, when Teague became a restricted free agent and the Pacers could have upgraded at point guard, Teague opted for a four-year, $32 million offer sheet with the Milwaukee Bucks. Atlanta matcched it.ddddddddddddIn February, rumors surfaced of a potential deal that would have sent Hill to Atlanta for Teague, but that never materialized either. Then in June, Bird finally pulled off the move by sending a first-round pick to Atlanta and Hill to the Jazz for the point guard Indiana had been looking to help them play small ball.Now Teague is just trying to fit in. He spent most of the summer working out in Indy, and started playing pickup ball with many of his new teammates in mid-August.The early impressions have given Teague renewed hope about the Pacers and their expanded expectations.A lot of people can play with the ball and create opportunities for others. In Atlanta, we had a lot of really good players but a lot of those guys were system players, Teague said. Here, weve got a lot of people who can create for others and that makes my job a lot easier.And more enjoyable.The only real question is how long Teague will stick around. Hell become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and while Teague said he would like to stay in Indianapolis long term and Bird has expressed his desire to get an extension done sooner rather than later, nothing has happened.But if all goes as well as planned, this could turn out to be a perfect match.Last year, they walked the ball up a lot and were still able to play that way. Were smaller now, and we can play a lot faster, Teague said. I think this could be something special.Game notes Bird also made it clear that he doesnt intend to let three-time All-Star and new Olympic gold medalist Paul George get away anytime soon. The 26-year-old George already has a max deal that runs through 2018-19. But whenever George is ready to sign an extension, Bird promised to make it happen. Bird said: We want Paul here and we know what its going to cost and what its going to take. If Paul wants to get a deal done, we will. Its a max deal. Theres no others, so theres no use talking about it. If he wants it, hes got it. Cheap NFL T-shirts Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Camo Stitched Jerseys China Womens NFL Jerseys NFL T-shirts From China Cheap Jerseys Throwback
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