Simone Biles' legacy at the 2021 Olympics, Spirit Airlines' flight cancellations: 5 Things podcast

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On today's 5 Things podcast: How will we remember Simone Biles at these Olympics? USA TODAY Sports' Nancy Armour has some thoughts. Plus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces impeachment, passengers are stranded around the country amid airline cancellations, a celebrity cheerleader heads to federal court for soliciting sex with minors and Barack Obama turns 60.

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Taylor Wilson:

Good morning, I'm Taylor Wilson, and this is 5 Things you need to know Wednesday, the 4th of August, 2021. Today, looking back at Simone Biles' run at these Olympics, plus New York Governor Andrew Cuomo faces possible impeachment and more.

Taylor Wilson:

Here are some of the top headlines.

  1. Help is on the way for Americans facing eviction. The CDC issued a new eviction moratorium for the next 60 days in counties with high rates of COVID-19. President Joe Biden said he hopes the new action would in some way, cover close to 90% of American renters.

  2. The largest wildfire ever recorded on Hawaii's big island continues to burn. Strong winds and dry conditions are expected to continue there on Wednesday.

  3. And China is seeing its worst Coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic. The country is again isolating some communities as the Delta variant spreads.

Taylor Wilson:

Simone Biles finished strong in Tokyo. The gymnast won the bronze medal in Tuesday night's balance beam final in what could have been her last ever Olympic event. It was her first time competing since withdrawing from the team competition a week before, citing concerns for her mental health and physical safety as she fought a case of the so-called twisties. After her balance beam bronze, Biles talked about how she worked to get back to competing this past week.

Simone Biles:

To bring the topic of mental health, I think it should be talked about a lot more, especially with athletes because I know some of us are going through the same things and we're always told to push through it. But we're all a little bit older now and we could kind of speak for ourselves, but at the end of the day, we're not just entertainment, we're humans. And there are things going on behind the scenes that we're also trying to juggle with as well on top of sports. So I had to be a medically evaluated every day, and then I had two sessions with a sports psychologist from Team USA, but I've been training beam every day. We just last minute decided to switch the dismount, which I probably have not done since I was like 12 years old because I've always twisted off and done a full end since I was probably 13 or 14.

Simone Biles:

But on the beam, that work is easy. I've always been able to do is just coming off, we didn't know what we were going to do or compete in the final because I had to pull out of all the other finals because of that reason. I barely got to do any finals so that sucked, but we got to the team vault, my one vault that I did, so great, but then going forward, it was just kind of taking it a day at a time and seeing where that went. But for the other events, physically and mentally, it was not safe for me to do it because I could not do the skills without jeopardizing my health and safety.

Taylor Wilson:

Simone Biles leaves Tokyo with a silver and bronze medal after four golds and a bronze at the Rio Games in 2016. Still as USA Today Sports Nancy Armour says, "The gymnast will be remembered at these games for her strength in working on her mental health."

Nancy Armour:

Simone Biles leaves the Tokyo Olympics with two medals: silver and bronze. They might not be the five that were expected; they aren't the golds that everyone was assuming that they would see, but she leaves these games with something even bigger. And that is the influence that she's had on the conversations we have about mental health and the importance of prioritizing it. She came in expecting to be able to compete in every single event. She made five event finals and she never thought she wouldn't be able to do that. Physically, she was unable to do floor, and vault and uneven bars. So the fact that she was able to come back for balance beam, that to her was a win because she wanted to compete. She couldn't physically do it in the other events. And she said after the balance beam final that this was simply a performance for her, just so that she would have one last time at these Olympics to go out there and compete and do it the way that she wanted, a performance that she could be proud of.

Nancy Armour:

We already knew she was the greatest athlete. Now she has shown her vulnerabilities as a person and she has given the rest of the world permission to say, it's okay to not be okay. Honestly, I don't know what's next for Simone. The short term, we know that she's got the tour that she's doing this fall, the Gold Over America Tour, which starts in September. She has said she wants to take vacation. Previously, she had kind of left the door open for Paris when she was asked about it after the beam final. She said, I haven't even processed these games. I can't even think about another one. So it's not out of the realm of possibility of her taking a year off and then coming back and being in shape for Paris. She is an incredible athlete. These Olympics don't change that. But what she has done to further this conversation, this very needed conversation about the importance of mental health is amazing. This is what we'll be talking about 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now. Her medals will be secondary to that.

Taylor Wilson:

As for what's next on Wednesday, here's USA TODAY Sports Dan Wolken.

Dan Wolken:

On the track, American Rai Benjamin lost what he called probably the best race in Olympic history to Norway's Karsten Warholm in the 400-meter hurdles. In beach volleyball, Alix Klineman and April Ross advanced to the semifinals. And there was also good news for the US in boxing where Duke Regan won his semi-final match in featherweight and will try to become the first American man to win a gold medal in that sport since 2004. Let's move on from Tuesday and let's take a look at what's happening Wednesday in Tokyo.

Dan Wolken:

On the track, the women's 400-meter hurdles final will feature a battle between two Americans in Sydney McLaughlin and Delilah Muhammad. While 17-year-old Erriyon Knighton from Tampa makes a run at the men's 200-meter sprint. Women's park skateboarding will hold its finals Wednesday while quarter final rounds involving the US begin in three sports with women's basketball facing Australia, women's volleyball against the Dominican Republic and men's water polo versus Spain. And women's sport climbing begins qualification.

Taylor Wilson:

China continues to lead with 32 gold medals, but Team USA is gaining ground with 25 and Japan is in third with 20. Stay with the olympics.usatoday.com for all the latest.

Taylor Wilson:

New York State's Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said on Tuesday that, "Governor Andrew Cuomo can no longer remain in office." The move marks a critical blow to his chances of staying in power after a report earlier in the day, detailed his sexual harassment of female aides. Assembly Democrats met virtually for hours and were largely in agreement to move forward with articles of impeachment if he doesn't resign. New York Attorney General Letitia James talked Tuesday about the investigation into Cuomo's actions.

Letitia James:

The independent investigation has concluded that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women. And in doing so, violated federal and state law. Specifically, the investigation found that Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and non-consensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. Over the course of the 5-month investigation, the investigator spoke to 179 individuals, including complainants, current and former members of the executive chamber, state troopers, additional state employees and others who interacted regularly with the governor. In addition, they reviewed more than 74,000 pieces of evidence, including documents, emails, texts, audio files and pictures. These interviews and pieces of evidence reveal a deeply disturbing yet clear picture. Governor Cuomo sexually harassed current and former state employees in violation of both federal and state laws.

Taylor Wilson:

For his part, Cuomo continues to deny the allegations. He said he never touched anyone inappropriately, but added that he often kisses and hugs people he meets and works with. Cuomo even showed a slideshow of him doing so with elected leaders.

Andrew Cuomo :

Over the past several months, you have heard a number of complaints brought against me. I called for an independent review, and I said at the beginning, I would let the process unfold. I didn't want anyone to say that I interfered. I said I would hold my tongue, and I have, making only limited comments. It has been a hard and a painful period for me and my family, especially as others feed ugly stories to the press, but I cooperated with the review and I can now finally share the truth. My attorney, who is a nonpolitical former federal prosecutor, has done a response to each allegation and the facts are much different than what has been portrayed. That document is available on my website. If you are interested, please take the time to read the facts and decide for yourself. First, I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.

Taylor Wilson:

President Joe Biden also got involved Tuesday. He didn't comment on whether or not the governor should be impeached, but did say that he should resign. In addition to his video comments defending himself, Cuomo also put out an 85-page rebuttal from his private attorney. Stay with usatoday.com for the latest on this developing story.

Taylor Wilson:

Passengers are still stranded around the country as a chaotic summer for travel continues. Those flying Spirit Airlines in particular are feeling the mess. And on Wednesday they'll face another round of cancellations. The budget airline had already canceled 293 flights for Wednesday as of 3:00 AM Eastern Time, marking nearly 45% of all of its scheduled flights. That comes after Spirit canceled 61% of its flights on Tuesday and has been canceling flights since Sunday. Passengers like Keyvon Brown are fed up.

Keyvon Brown:

I mean, I'm here for vacation and our flight, we're just trying to get home and it's just gotten canceled. No reason for why it's been canceled. And now we're just trying to figure out how can we get home. Is there a flight anytime soon and another airline that you guys can go ahead and compensate us for? Because you guys canceled our flight within 24 hours and it's just not fair.

Taylor Wilson:

Spirit's not the only airline leaving passengers in limbo. American canceled 14% of its flights on Monday. Airlines have vaguely been blaming operational challenges for the cancellations.

Taylor Wilson:

Celebrity cheerleader, Jerry Harris, will appear in federal court Wednesday morning. He's accused of soliciting sex and explicit photos from minors. The 22-year-old has pleaded not guilty to federal charges, including receiving and attempting to receive child porn and enticing a minor to "engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct and transmitting a live visual depiction of such conduct." Allegations were initially made by 14-year-old twin brothers, Charlie and Sam. They told USA today about a pattern of harassment, both online and in cheer competitions, and said it started when they were 13 and Harris was 19. Here's Charlie.

Charlie:

It was super uncomfortable for me, especially at competitions because when I would see him, like, I just wouldn't want anything to do with him because I know what his motives would be. He would like try to be like, go somewhere with me, like hook up with him and I'd be like, no, I don't feel comfortable with that.

Taylor Wilson:

The twins said the harassment continued for more than a year. Jerry Harris rose to fame on the Netflix docuseries Cheer. He was arrested last September and remains behind bars.

Taylor Wilson:

Former President Barack Obama is turning 60 on Wednesday and he's ringing in the big number with a controversial party. The Obamas will host an outdoor party on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where they've vacationed for years, but not everyone is on board with a large gathering as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreads around the country. And the CDC said last week that people should resume mask wearing in indoor public spaces. Obama's event will be held outdoors and all attendees need to follow CDC public health protocols, including a testing regimen.

Taylor Wilson:

Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us wherever you get your audio, including Apple Podcasts, where we ask for a five star rating and review if you have a chance. Thanks as always to Shannon Green and Claire Thornton for their great work on the show. 5 Things is part of the USA TODAY Network.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Simone Biles' Olympic legacy, SA flight cancellations: 5 Things podcast

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