Happy Wednesday everyone! The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are in full swing and Aaron Rodgers is all set to return to the Packers. It's Shanna McCarriston here, back to talk all things Olympics and everything else going on in the sports world.
Simone Biles excused herself from the gymnastics team competition for mental health reasons, saying they were supposed to be having fun at the Olympics and just weren't, and now, after the team captured a silver medal, Biles has pulled out of the individual all-around final as well. I can't imagine the pressure she and all of the Olympic athletes are under and the changed circumstances due to COVID-19 only add to the difficult situation, so I wish her all the best and I'm happy she did what was best for her.
Today we will look at why Biles' decision was a courageous one, go over how Katie Ledecky did in the 1,500m final, further discuss the Aaron Rodgers situation and lay out the main Olympic events to watch today.
Let's get to it.
📰 What you need to know
1. Simone Biles pulls out of competition 🏅
Simone Biles is the face of gymnastics. She's redefined what is possible for her sport. She's one of the best athletes of all time and she has revolutionized women's gymnastics. But the important thing to remember is that above all this, she is human.
While she's must-watch television, she's also a person with real emotions and struggles just like everyone else. It seems obvious, but many have criticized Biles heavily after she pulled out of both the team final and the individual all-around final at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
CBS Sports' Matt Norlander wrote about why Biles withdrawing from the team final is the most courageous move she's ever landed, first reflecting on her incredible career, calling her a wonder, and saying she "dually represents gymnastics at its most awe-inspiring and least explainable."
After her vault, Biles pulled out because she said no idea where she was in the air and was worried if she continued she'd get hurt and ruin her teams' chances if she competed.
- Biles said: "I didn't want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself. So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job."
Norlander commented on her decision, saying it's important for us to praise the decision rather than question her.
- From Norlander: "Biles has nothing to prove to anyone. She's already the all-time greatest. Could there be a better advocate for mental health than arguably the most respected active Olympian in the world? Mental health is physical health and should be treated as such. Mental health can obviously impact physical well-being, too, and it's this that we should keep at the front of our minds ..."
It's important for others to recognize what she is going through, while also keeping in mind that it is difficult to know exactly what she was going through. She has the whole world watching her, and insane pressure added onto whatever else is going on personally.
Norlander said acknowledging how she was feeling in real time was a powerful and strong move. Biles owes us nothing, but owes it to herself to take care of her health, mental and physical, and that's just what she did even when she knew it would be met with criticism.
2. Ledecky final results🥇
Yesterday, Katie Ledecky competed in the women's 200-meter freestyle final, but failed to reach the podium. She finished fifth with a time of 1:55.21 in the event, while Australia's Ariarne Titmus won gold and set an Olympic record with a time of 1:53.50, while taking first place.
It wasn't long before Ledecky was competing again, this time in the 1500-meter freestyle, an event that exhausted me just watching it. This is where the 24-year-old was able to shine, taking a commanding lead early en route to taking home the gold, Ledecky finished in 15:37.34. Fellow American and teammate Erica Sullivan won the silver.
Here are her results from the night:
- 200-meter freestyle final: fifth place
- 1500-meter freestyle final: gold medal
With this being the first time the 1500-meter freestyle was available for women to compete in the Olympics, Ledecky's time is automatically the Olympic record holder in the category.
Ledecky looked just as happy, if not happier, for Sullivan making the podium over her own win, noting how proud she was of her Team USA teammate after the race.
3. Wednesday's Olympic schedule: 🏅
We had another exciting day of Olympic events and spoiler alert, we have even more events to watch today. How exciting, right?!
We have the men's gymnastics individual all-around final, various swimming finals and the first round of men's golf. It's a packed schedule.
- Men's gymnastics individual all-around final - 6:15 a.m.
- 3x3 basketball Men's and Women's medal matches - 7:45 a.m.
- Men's golf round one - 6:30 p.m.
- Swimming finals - Men's 800m freestyle, Men's 200m breaststroke, Women's 200m butterfly, Women's 4 x 200 freestyle relay - 9:30 p.m.
4. Possible landing spots for Aaron Rodgers in 2022 🏈
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are close to ending their offseason saga, but only for now. They are working towards an agreement that keeps No. 12 in Green Bay through the 2021 season, but that just means we could be in store for the same drama next offseason.
The extra year of the future Hall of Famer with the Packers gives them a little time to smooth things over, but it's likely Rodgers won't soon forget all the grievances he has with the team. To see this end smoothly and without any chaos does not seem likely, so let's start predicting what will go down.
- Denver Broncos: They would be the leaders of the pack and would be a good fit for the quarterback
- New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton and Rodgers would be fun to watch that's for sure, and being in the same division as Tom Brady would be very interesting.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins don't seem like the long-term answer as of right now and this team is used to winning, so a rebuild is probably not something they'd love.
- Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have a wandering eye and while Tua Tagovailoa could have a bright future, Miami may try and go for a top-tier quarterback.
- Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson and the Seahawks have their own drama and if the offense doesn't perform at a top level No. 3 could head elsewhere, making room for Rodgers.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Going from Brady to Rodgers wouldn't be the worst thing for Bruce Arians and company and while all signs point to TB12 continuing to play, an injury or sudden decline could change that.
- Las Vegas Raiders: Jon Gruden has stuck with Derek Carr longer than expected and may want to try for Rodgers if they are able to make their team more desirable.
The Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team and New York Giants are also listed as possible landing spots.
I don't see him going to the Bucs, as I expect Tom Brady to still be there and unless Ben Roethlisberger seriously falls off or retires, which is a definite possibility, I could see him staying in Pittsburgh for another two years. I see Wilson staying with the Seahawks as well.
I could see the Broncos as an option and would also put them as the top spot for Rodgers.
📝 Odds & Ends
- Japan denies U.S. softball gold again, winning 2-0 in the gold medal game
- Alex Ovechkin signs five-year, $47.5 million deal to remain with Capitals
- Patrick Mahomes becomes part-owner of his second-pro team, with stake in MLS club Sporting Kansas City
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Yankees vs. Rays, 7:10 p.m. | TB -165 | TV: MLB.TV
Best thing I saw on the internet:
Katie Ledecky was nearly lapping other swimmers during the 1500-meter freestyle final. Now let's put this in perspective, these are the best swimmers in the world and she was still dominating the field. She was ecstatic for her win, a historic one as she is the first woman to ever take gold in the event, but she was also thrilled for her teammate Erica Sullivan. It was a fantastic moment for Ledecky, who struggled earlier in the night, taking fifth in the 200-meter freestyle.