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Viral post thoughtfully reexamines Kerri Strug's iconic broken ankle vault at 1996 Olympics

"Yesterday I was excited to show my daughters Kerri Strug's famous one-leg vault...But for some reason I wasn't as inspired watching it this time. In fact, I felt a little sick."

Simone Biles withdrawing from the team final in the Tokyo Olympics and subsequently withdrawing from the individual all-around finals after getting a case of the "twisties" has the world talking. She's received overwhelming support as well as overwhelming criticism for the move, with some praising her for recognizing her limits and others blasting her for not persevering through whatever she's dealing with.

Some people pointed to Kerri Strug, who landed on one foot after vaulting with a broken ankle in the 1996 Olympics to help the U.S. win gold, as an example of the kind of sacrifice an athlete should be willing to make for their country.

Byron Heath shared some thoughts about that fateful day in a viral Facebook post that has been shared more than 370,000 times in less than a day.

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C-SPAN

When the "Me Too" movement sparked a firestorm of stories of sexual harassment and abuse, the world learned what most women already knew. Sexual abuse isn't rare. And far too often, it is covered up, with the perpetrator being protected while victims are left to languish.

Few stories have made that reality more clear than the uncovering of the years-long, widespread sexual abuse of young female athletes on the U.S. women's gymnastics team by the team's physician, Larry Nassar. The scope of his abuse is mind-blowing. The fact that it was happening all the time, behind the scenes, while the young women he was abusing were in the spotlight winning medal after medal, is shocking.

Now we're finding out how bad the investigations were, how these women were dismissed, ignored, and neglected, how investigators allowed the abuse to continue despite ample evidence that it was happening. That is simply enraging.

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Since Simone Biles backed out of the team final at the Tokyo Olympics two days ago, the question everyone's been asking is "What the heck happened?"

After two botched vaults, Biles took herself out of the competition, later saying, "I had no idea where I was in the air."

Former gymnasts recognized her wording and have taken to social media to explain a condition known as "the twisties." On a basic level, the twisties is a mental state where your muscle memory shuts down in the air mid-twist. It can happen to any gymnast at any time, but is more likely under intense pressure. It might seem like a mental block is not something that could happen to the unrivaled Simone Biles, who routinely performs incredibly well under pressure, but brains are fickle things.

This explanation from former gymnast and diver Catherine Burns lays it out:

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Like the rest of the Western hemisphere, I woke up this morning to the surprising news that gymnastic superstar Simone Biles had backed out of the Olympic team finals after an uncharacteristically bad vault performance. After some conflicting reports about a possible injury, it became clear that she was physically fine—it was her mental state that had gotten twisted.

Cue the armchair commentators complaining that she had let the team down, that she's only concerned about herself, and that she shouldn't have gone into the competition if she didn't have the mental toughness to handle it.

Hoo boy. Let's all just take a deep breath and step back for a second.

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