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Simone Biles Leaves Olympics a Winner, and So Does Suni Lee

In her comeback to the Olympic Games on August 3, Simone Biles won the bronze medal for a workmanlike job on the balance beam. She didn’t pull any punches. She gave the punches she could. The ones that were still in her. 

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Simone Biles/Wikimedia Commons

In her comeback to the Olympic Games on August 3, Simone Biles won the bronze medal for a workmanlike job on the balance beam. She didn’t pull any punches. She gave the punches she could. The ones that were still in her. 

After these Olympics, on the balance beam of life, is there any doubt, Biles deserves a gold something? With all her events completed, the biggest star in U.S.A. gymnastics ever leaves these 2020 games held in 2021 a survivor.

Consider Biles’ week plagued by the “twisties,” when a  gymnast feels out of synch with her body, unable to tell up from down while tucking and rolling and flinging herself in the air. And then there was the overall pressure of a games that perhaps never should have been. One year delayed? Why not two? Why not cancel it during a world-wide pandemic?  

Does any country value a medal in Global Public Health? (No).

Or were the financial obligations to sponsors and NBC too great to ignore at the expense of reason? (Yes). 

All that put pressure on Biles, an Olympic legend and a known public face, to be the marquee name. In fact, the only justification for the games to be sold in a time of disease and division was that the Olympics could be a positive, unifying world force.   

Instead, it was just a world-wide distraction dwarfed by the virus that has grown to nearly 200 million confirmed cases and claimed 4.25 million lives. It’s death on an Olympic scale. Give the virus a medal. It evolved into a variant.

And of course, on top of all that, consider Biles’ personal story as a victim at the hands of  a former Olympic team doctor, the now disgraced mass sexual abuser, Larry Nasser.

With all that compounded, would you feel like jumping for joy on demand?  In Japan? And she doesn’t even like sushi. (Did you see her reaction to a platter on the Today Show?)

On her comeback Tuesday, in her final individual event, though everyone wanted to see Biles do the thing she will be forever known for—her signature move — a dismounting double-twisting, double-back somersault–—she didn’t do it.

She went back to a move she last did at age 12. 

She had already done so much for these Olympics that seemed lost without fans. And for a few days, the games were without one of its biggest names on the gym floor.

Biles was neither chilling nor copping out. When she withdrew, she knew the depths of her team’s ability and selflessly went from competitor to cheerleader—encouraging young talent like Sunisa “Suni” Lee, the 18-year-old Asian American who had been a close No. 2 to Biles in competitions leading up to the Olympics. 

In her first Olympics, Lee said she was just going for silver. But then when her opportunity came, and with Biles’ blessing, she seized the moment, and by just .135 of a point won the gold in the all-around individual competition, the major event that was supposed to have been Biles’ moment.

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Oakland Post: September 15th – September 21st, 2021

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post for the week of September 15th – September 21st, 2021.

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The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post for the week of September 15th - September 21st, 2021.

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East Oakland Community Clean-up

The office of Councilmember Treva Reid invites you to…

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Oakland Clean Up Flyer

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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Sept. 11, 2001, 20 years later: ‘Remembrance’ held aboard the USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum

The USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum, moored at the City of Alameda, hosted a “Remembrance” ceremony of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, on board the ship on the 20th anniversary, Sept. 11, 2021.

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U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard, 23rd Marine Regiment: Sgt. Tristan Garivay, Sgt. Michael Her, Cpl. Adrian Chavez and Cpl. Quentavious Leeks. Photo by Russell Moore, USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum, Community Events & Outreach

Quintin Jones, Colonel, USMC, Commanding Officer, 23rd Marine Regiment. Photo by Russell Moore, USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum, Community Events & Outreach

The USS Hornet Sea, Space & Air Museum, moored at the City of Alameda, hosted a “Remembrance” ceremony of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, on board the ship on the 20th anniversary, Sept. 11, 2021.

The ceremony recognized the impact and consequences of the series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks committed on 2001 by 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Queda against targets in New York City and Wash., D.C. Nearly 3,000 people died that day and 6,000 were injured.  This was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil in U.S. history. 

The ceremony aboard the USS Hornet began with the presentation of the colors by the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard, 23rd Marine Regiment. (Pictured above.)

Leon Watkins, co-founder of The Walking Ghosts of Black History, was the Master of Ceremonies. He spoke about the extensive death and destruction which triggered the enormous U.S. effort to combat terrorism.

Daniel Costin, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spoke of the lasting impact of 9/11 terrorists attack on first responders. He recounted incidents where first responders rushed into the scenes of the attacks, many at the sacrifice of their own lives. More than 400 police officers and firefighters were killed that day: 343 members of the New York City Fire Department and 71 members of their law enforcement agencies.

Quintin Jones, Colonel, USMC, commanding officer of the 23rd Marine Regiment, spoke about the recovery efforts at the Pentagon following the terrorists’ attack where 125 people perished. He reflected on the actions of three first responders who recovered the U.S. Marine Corps flag from the commandant of the Marine Corps’ office at the Pentagon. This flag was still standing after the attack. It was a symbol of America’s resolve.

At the end of the formal presentations, the Marine Corps Wreath Bearers went to the fantail of the Hornet. After the playing of ‘Taps,’ they tossed a wreath into the San Francisco Bay to give final honors.

The Oakland Post’s coverage of local news in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.

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