Posts tagged with "Simone Biles"

Sunisa Lee illustration by Samantha Miduri for use by 360 Magazine

Suni Lee Wins Full Set at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

By: Ally Brewster

Women’s artistic gymnastics was at the forefront at the Summer Olympics once again this year in Tokyo. Artistic gymnastics is a highly competitive, technical sport that takes a lifetime to perfect. The sport garners millions of viewers worldwide each Olympics, and marketing teams use the sport as one of the faces of the games. Artistic gymnastics has become one of, if not the, most popular sport each Olympics.

At the Olympics, artist gymnastics is set into two categories: team and individual. Each member of every country competes in qualifying rounds for team finals, all-around finals, and individual events finals. Each competitor gets a chance to let their abilities shine as they compete on each apparatus. This year, each competitor of the USA Gymnastics team shined with Simone Biles, Sunisa (Suni) Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum. Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner participated as individual athletes for individual events. Though each gymnast shined, one gymnast really caught viewer’s attention. This notoriety was expected as she is a fan-favorite in the Olympics: Sunisa Lee. 

But, who is Suni Lee?

Suni Lee, born Sunisa Phabsomphou, competed in her first ever Olympics this year at only 18-years-old. Though she graduated high school just a few months ago, the Minnesota-native has been doing gymnastics since she was six-years-old. She first began her training at Midwest Gymnastics Center. No Olympic journey is easy, and Suni’s was no exception. Olympians need to train most hours of the day to perfect their craft, which can be difficult to afford. Suni’s father took that problem into his own hands. Her father had always been one of her biggest supporters. He decided to build her a wooden beam in their backyard for her to practice on when they couldn’t afford a real one.

Notably, Suni Lee is the first Hmong-American gymnast to ever compete at the Olympics. Her parents are immigrants from Laos. The Hmong community was excited to have this representation, especially after the year of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. It meant a lot to the Asian-American community for Suni to be in the Olympics as a positive voice for the community. For some people, Suni was the first time they heard of the Hmong people – an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. By qualifying for the Olympics, she was able to represent her community. This moment can be used to educate the world on the Hmong people, their community, and the hardships they have fought to overcome.

Going into the Olympics, Suni was a newcomer to watch for Team USA. She was known for her stellar bar routines. Suni went above and beyond even her own expectations. She qualified not only for Team USA and bar individuals, but also for all-around and beam.

During finals, all of Team USA did amazing. The US team gave the competition their all and ending up winning a Silver medal. They were all ecstatic because, with the exception of Simone Biles, it was each member’s first time winning an Olympic medal.

As they went onto individual competition, the team members of Team USA continued to support each other, even while competing. Suni continued to dominate the competition in the individual rounds. She caught the attention of people as she performed beautifully on each apparatus in all-around. Her performance earned her gold in the all-around competition. With the win, Suni became the first Asian-American to win an all-around gold medal.

After the all-around, the individual competition continued with Suni competing on the beam and uneven bars. On beam she performed beautifully, just missing a medal by placing 4th place. Though she did not win a medaling placement, Suni was as impressive as ever as she competed amongst the best gymnasts in the world. 

Coming into the competition, the uneven bars were known as Suni’s specialty. This proved to be the case as she performed a stunning routine. She was awarded third place and earned a bronze medal.

With each of her wins, Suni entered a distinguished group of Olympians that won a full set – earning a gold, silver and bronze medal. Suni made her community proud as she became the first Asian-American to win all-around. Suni is also the first Hmong American to compete in artistic gymnastics. Suni dedicated her Olympic wins to her father, who supported her through everything and watched her live her dream.

Mina Tocalini illustration for mental health article inside 360 magazine

Athletes for CARE Supports Mental Health in Professional Sport

Olympians and Professional Athletes are setting new standards for personal care and well-being to protect their mental health, disrupting intense pressure and expectation

Athletes for CARE (“A4C” or the “Organization”) is a nonprofit organization working since 2017 with current and former athletes to address the long term impact of the mental and physical toll a career in sport takes on athletes. A4C advocates for the removal of stigmas surrounding mental health and personal well-being in sport, as well as for treatment options. A4C applauds and supports the challenging decisions made by Olympic athletes like Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka in the past weeks to protect their mental health and well-being. Their outspoken bravery sets a precedent encouraging others to reinforce that no athlete must suffer alone in silence on, or after leaving, the world stage.

A4C is committed to fostering resilience and support for mental health challenges faced by current and former professional athletes. To further this mission, the organization is proud to announce a collaboration with the Post-Game Players’ Lounge (“PPL” or the “Partner”), a program devoted to supporting retired athletes who are finding themselves, for the first time, in a world that isn’t solely dominated by participation in professional and team sport.

“PPL is excited to collaborate with A4C to help bring the mental health aspect of athletics to the forefront! While traditional sports psychology focuses on athletes’ success on the field, PPL is shifting their focus to helping athletes succeed off the field,” says Dr. Shannon McHugh, PsyD., co-founder of PPL.

“Athletes for CARE is committed to helping athletes find success in life after a career in sport,” said Anna Valent, Executive Director A4C. “We have worked for years on a one-on-one basis to address barriers to success and help athletes find support, opportunity and purpose in life after a career in sport. We are excited to work with the Post-Game Players’ Lounge to bring this program that focuses on mental health at no charge to any athlete from any sport.”

“A4C was there to support me through some dark times after my football career ended.” said Jamie Brown, A4C Athlete Ambassador and NFL Superbowl Champion. “I am excited that A4C and PPL are partnering to create a safe space where you can share anything in a group of people who understand how you are feeling. It helps connect the dots whether you are struggling with finances, or purpose or anything.”

The program, led by former athletes who are now mental health professionals, includes a 16-week program for athletes and will grow to include programs for spouses, partners and families of athletes. Athletes who complete the program will also be invited to participate in a leadership development program to continue their mental health journey. In addition to the weekly program, athletes needing additional support will receive individual care plans that will also be supported through A4C. Many athletes struggle with mental, physical, and financial health during and after a career in sport. It is difficult to navigate how and where to get help, especially when coming from a unique industry and usually without a transition plan or health insurance.

About Athletes for CARE

Athletes for CARE (A4C) is a nonprofit organization launched in 2017 by passionate retired professional athletes who recognized the need to advocate for the health, safety and wellness of more than 2 billion people of all ages who compete annually in sanctioned sports globally. Through that advocacy, we are improving health and wellness options for the billions of people around the world living with mental and physical illnesses including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, CTE, TBI, substance abuse and opioid dependency.

About Post-Game Players Lounge

The Players’ Lounge was created with a collaboration between psychologists Dr. Shannon McHugh and Dr. Jesi Sasaki, B.J. Williams, the founder of Can I Be Vulnerable (an organization aimed toward reducing the stigma of mental health for black men and boys), and occupational therapist Dr. Madison Harris, who specializes in helping athletes with their retirement transition. Started as a safe space for former NFL players to come together and talk about their mental health and post-career journey, now turned into a program that all former athletes can access and benefit from as they transition out of their athletic career. PPL provides mental wellness tips and techniques to group members and collaborate with partnering neuropsychologists and occupational therapists to provide relatable information to help athletes develop a playbook for retirement that prioritizes their mental and physical wellness post-sport.

Interview with Dean Karnazes

Dean Carnazes is a marathon runner known for serious feats of endurance. He recently wrote a book, Runner’s High: A Life in Motion, about running and his experience as a marathon runner. I got the chance to speak with Dean about his marathon career and Runner’s High.

What was your favorite experience while running?

While I was running across the country—from LA to NYC—I got a call from the White House saying that Michelle Obama wanted me to stop in to say hi. Prank call was my first reaction. But it was real. I’ll never forget running down the hallway of the White House and out to the South Lawn to meet with the first lady. She welcomed me with a hug and said, “It’s such an honor to meet you.” I’m not making this up. 

What is your favorite part of the marathon experience?

The pain and the struggle. You remember the joyful moments, but the tough moments leave a more indelible imprint. 

Do you have a marathon that you particularly liked?

How long is the interview? (laughter) I’ve run hundreds of marathons and each is memorable in it’s own way. I once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. That experience in its totality was quite extraordinary.

Do you have a favorite place to run?

Greece. I’m 100% Greek and Greece is the birthplace of the marathon. It doesn’t get more real than that.

What athletes do you particularly admire?

The back of the packers struggling to reach the finish line before the cutoff. Sure, I admire the elite, but watching the last place finisher is more inspiring. 

I’ve been in a 2-week quarantine in a hotel in Sydney in preparation for this crazy 1,000-mile run across Australia, so I’ve been watching a lot of the Tokyo Olympics. In fact, I’ve probably watched more television in the past two weeks than I’ve watched in the past two years! 

Are there any Olympic athletes, in the most recent Tokyo Olympics, that you were particularly impressed by?

So many of the athletes impress me. But I think what impressed me the most this Olympics’ was Simone Biles withdrawal because of mental health concerns. She is such a dominant force but she became very human in showing her vulnerability.

How do you feel about energy drinks and other products that may change/enhance athletes’ performance?

Athletes will always seek anything that can provide an edge. So long as it is not a banned substance, I’m okay with it.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest accomplishment as a runner?

The fact that I am still just as passionate about running as I was when I first started. The stoke is still there after all these years.  

What was it like to write a book about something you’re so passionate about like running?

To capture my authentic running voice, I do a lot of writing while I run (by dictating into my phone). People say I truthfully capture the essence of running in my writing, and that’s because at a time when I’m experiencing the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a runner I’m taking note. To put that passion into words makes compelling reading. 

Are you happy with the way people have spoken about your book thus far?

I got an email from a gentleman this morning who said he had intended to read a couple chapters of my book last night before going to bed. Five hours later he finished the book, he told me. Then, he said, he got up. He just had to go on a run.

Yes, I’m happy with the way people have spoken about my book. That message says it all.

Jake Miller

TODAY at 8 AM PST, Jake Miller dropped the official video for his song “The Girl That’s Underneath”, Which you can Watch Here

One of Jake’s biggest albums to date, Silver Lining takes listeners on a journey of getting through life’s obstacles by letting go of the things out of your control and focusing on what lies ahead rather than what was in the past.  With lyrics that resonate with anyone who has dealt with heartbreak or felt discouraged in attaining their goals combined with smooth melodic beats the album consists of 14 tracks (the majority of them written and produced by Jake) went on pre-sale on iTunes February 20th.  Jake describes his music as a blend of everything he listens to from John Mayer to Bruno Mars and on to Maroon 5 among others.  Jakes’ music is through Empire distribution.

More on Jake:

Jake Miller is a pop rapper, singer and songwriter who has been making his mark in the music industry since 2012. Jake’s most notable musical successes include his breakout hit “First Flight Home”, his steamy single and music video “Overnight,” which featured Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles, his 2015 EP, Rumors, and his first independent album “2:00am in LA”, both of which lived as #1 on iTunes Overall Top Albums Chart.

In 2016, Jake was spotlighted as Entertainment Weekly’s “Breaking Big: 9 new artists to hear now” where he was dubbed a “must hear artist on the rise.”  He’s amassed a huge social following and has toured with acclaimed, multi-award winning girl group Fifth Harmony and has performed alongside some of today’s most established recording artists including Mac Miller, Ariana Grande, Flo Rida, Jason Derulo and Pharrell.

Most recently, Jake wrapped his extremely successful “Hit and Run” tour, promoting his biggest album to date, Silver Lining. The 33-city-tour filled venues across the nation almost every night. Jake wrote and produced the majority of the 14-song album, which is topping charts already, peaking at 20 on Billboard.

Instagram: @jakemiller(1M)

Twitter: @jakemiller(660K Followers)

Facebook: @jakemillermusic

YouTube: Jake Miller(580K Subscribers /106M Views)

Website: http://www.jakemiller.com/