Wednesday, December 07, 2022

August 1, 2021  TOKYO (AP) — Sunisa Lee came to Japan to win a gold medal. And she did. Just not the one she really, really wanted. The 18-year-old from Minnesota is a revelation on uneven bars, where her routines are an intricate series of connections and releases completed with so much ease it looks like she’s making it all up on the fly.

Only she isn’t. Her mastery is the result of years of hard work. She’s one of the best in the world on it, and she showed it during the all-around final, where her electric set helped her edge Rebeca Andrade of Brazil and become the fifth straight American woman to claim the Olympic title.

Three days and a crush of fame later, she wasn’t quite right. Admitting she’d become distracted by the attention surrounding her triumph, connections that typically come so easily were labored during Sunday’s event finals, if they came at all. The result was a bronze-medal finish that left her disappointed.

Yes, the all-around title is great. She’ll carry it with her for the rest of her life. But the bars are her jam. Only her long-anticipated showdown with Belgium star Nina Derwael never materialized. Leading off while wearing a dazzling crystal-laden blue leotard in the eight-woman final, Lee knew in the middle of her routine it wasn’t going to be good enough to top the podium long before her 14.500 flashed across the scoreboard.

“Bars is something I really cherish,” Lee said while wearing shoes borrowed from American teammate Jade Carey because she forgot the ones that come with the U.S. uniform back at the hotel. “So when I mess it up, it really sucks.”

Even if Lee’s definition of “mess it up” is different than most others. The bronze gave her a full rainbow of Olympic bling to go with the all-around gold and the silver she claimed in the team competition.

It’s impressive by any stretch. It’s also not quite what she came here for.

“It’s really cool,” Lee said. “I just wish the bronze medal was a (balance) beam medal, not bars.”

Lee will get a chance to add to her stash in the beam final on Tuesday. A medal there would be a bit of a surprise. One on bars was almost a given. Though she earned one, she didn’t put on a show while doing it. She thinks her inability to put down her phone the last few days had little to do with it.

Her popularity has exploded in the 10 days since the Games began. She’s added 950,000 followers on Instagram, a stunning 390% increase, including 365,000 since last Thursday.

It typically comes with the territory when you find yourself atop the podium after one of the marquee events at the Olympics. She just wasn’t expecting it. She figured she would be vying for silver behind teammate Simone Biles. Than the 2016 Olympic champion pulled out of the all-around final to focus on her mental health, opening a door that Lee stepped through with a performance both graceful and gritty.

The two-plus days since her victory have been a whirlwind of interviews and social media mentions. It’s a lot. At the moment, it’s probably too much. Lee thinks she might delete Twitter until the competition is over.

Derwael gave Belgium its first-ever gold medal in women’s gymnastics, the last bit of history on a night full of it.

Artem Dolgopyat of Israel gave his country only its second-ever gold in the Summer Games with a victory on floor exercise. Andrade — runner-up to Lee in the all-around — provided the first gymnastics gold for Brazil. Lee Chih-Kai’s silver on pommel horse was the first for Taiwan after finishing behind two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock of Britain.

Andrade’s spectacular display on vault is all the more jarring considering she’s already endured three reconstructive knee surgeries and didn’t even qualify for the Games until early June. She gets so much air time from her block off the vaulting table it seems as if she’s being dropped from the catwalk hanging above the podium at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

“I don’t really know what to say, I couldn’t imagine myself up there on the podium,” the 22-year-old Andrade said. “I think I matured a lot. I got better from the injuries.”

Andrade’s 15.083 average put her just ahead of MyKayla Skinner. The 24-year-old American didn’t know if she would compete in the finals until Saturday afternoon after Biles opted out. She drilled both her Cheng and her Amanar then said goodbye to the sport from the medal stand. Already married, Skinner is retiring.

What a way to go out. Two years ago she re-entered the elite world after spending three years competing collegiately at Utah. She dealt with both COVID-19 and pneumonia during the pandemic and thought she was heading home early last week after failing to automatically qualify into any finals. Then Biles told her to stick around because she wasn’t sure she was going to compete.

Skinner heard Biles’ voice above the din during the finals, urging Skinner to a podium finish only she may have seen when she made her comeback official at the 2019 U.S. Championships.

“I think it’s so cool to show that age is just a number and that anything is possible if you work hard and dream for it,” Skinner said. “So I’m just so honored that I never gave up and have kept pushing for my dreams to get here.”

SXM Radio Online


September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

“Representation Is the Bare Minimum”: Modeling’s Biggest Stars Speak Out