Hang Up and Listen

The Simone Biles Speaks Up and Sits Out Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on the American gymnastics legend, the Tokyo Olympics, and Major League Baseball trades.

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Episode Notes

Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin discuss the latest in the saga of Simone Biles at the Tokyo Olympics. They also talk about the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s semifinals loss to Canada, a Texan-Italian runner’s unexpected 100-meter dash victory, and the Italian and Qatari high jumpers who shared the gold medal. Also, Jeff Passan of ESPN joins to talk about a frenzy of high-profile deals at Major League Baseball’s trading deadline.

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• On Monday, USA Gymnastics announced that Simone Biles would compete in the balance beam event at the Tokyo Olympics.

Biles had withdrawn from the team, all-around, and three individual competitions, citing her mental health and a case of the “twisties.”

• Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post wrote that, for Biles, “abuse is a current event.”

• The Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky and Andrew Beaton described how, in 2013, Biles was pulled from a meet for her own safety.

• In Slate, Rebecca Schuman wrote that Kerri Strug shouldn’t have been forced to make her historic vault at the 1996 Olympics.

The U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Canada, 1-0, in the Olympic semifinals.

• Little-known Texas-born Italian Lamont Marcell Jacobs, who won the men’s 100-meter dash in 9.80 seconds, hadn’t broken 10 seconds before this spring.

• Slate’s Justin Peters wrote that the “100-meter dash is the best Olympic event.”

• High-jump buddies Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to share the gold medal instead of competing in a “jump off.”

In a blog post in 2018, Tamberi described how Mutaz was the only person he confided in during recovery from an ankle injury.

Follow Jeff Passan on Twitter (but not Jefff Pasann).

• Ten current All-Stars—including Max Scherzer and Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals and Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs—were dealt in one of the craziest trade deadline periods in baseball history.

• Slate’s Alex Kirshner on why the Cubs, who traded the beloved core of their 2016 championship team, are “a baseball travesty.”

• Baseball scoopmeisters crediting and thanking each other are like Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf.

Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Thomas Burke:

Stefan’s Thomas Burke: On the return of Olympic Channel News, the state-run broadcasting service of the Games.

On this week’s bonus segment, Josh, Joel, and Stefan discuss American shot putter Raven Saunders’ “X” gesture, Belarusian runner Kristina Timanovskaya’s detainment, American swimmer Lilly King’s doping comments, and more from the Olympics.

Podcast production and edit by Alyssa Edes.

You can email us at hangup@slate.com.

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About the Show

A weekly sports discussion show from Slate. Hang Up and Listen features Slate personalities Joel Anderson, Stefan Fatsis, and Josh Levin.

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