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'Fearless' Biles shares how she dealt with adversity, body-shaming

'Fearless' Biles shares how she dealt with adversity, body-shaming

USA gymnast Simone Biles sat down with Jillian Mele of CSN Philly recently to discuss her prolific career and the obstacles she’s faced en route to becoming America’s most decorated gymnast. 

As a child, Biles’ foster home had a trampoline but she was not allowed to use it because of insurance issues. Biles said that led her and her brother to simply use other things for gymnastics. 

“I remember my brother would flip off the swing and try to show me and then I would try to copy him,” Biles said. “Then I started flipping off mailboxes once I moved to Houston, and my mom and dad would be so mad at me, but I did it anyways. I’ve always been very fearless.” 

Biles also discussed a 2013 incident in which she overheard a coach saying she struggled in a meet because she was “too fat.”

“It was very sad because I feel like I’m a very petite young girl and so hear that at such a very young age, it just kind of shocked me,” she said. “I honestly don’t think that’s the reason that I fell apart and I feel like everything happens for a reason, so that had to happen for me to be where I am today. If it didn’t happen, things might have been different.” 

Biles, who has been outspoken against body-shaming, shared a message of optimism for anyone who’s had to deal with it. 

“I would say everyone was built with a body and they’re blessed,” Biles said, “so you have to be confident in whatever God gave you because that’s you and you have to learn to love yourself.” 

Keselowski favored on the 2019 Daytona 500 odds

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Keselowski favored on the 2019 Daytona 500 odds

Brad Keselowski is used to being one of the favorites to win the Daytona 500, which has been the case each of the previous two years. Unfortunately for Keselowski and his backers, the biggest race of the season has yet to lead to a victory for him with another disappointing finish last year when he was 32nd and saw Austin Dillon take the checkered flag.

 

This year, Keselowski is back in the role of favorite at +700 (bet $100 to win $700) on the 2019 Daytona 500 odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, and he hopes to finally come through this time around. The 34-year-old Michigan native placed third five years ago for his second consecutive Top 5 finish at the time, but he has not ended up higher than 20th since then.

 

Of course there will plenty of competition again at Daytona in 2019, with popular names like Joey Logano (+800), Kevin Harvick (+1000), Clint Bowyer (+1000) and Denny Hamlin (+1000) joining Keselowski at the top of the betting board on the NASCAR odds. The big question is, who will finish atop the leaderboard on Sunday when all is said and done?

 

Of that group, Harvick (2007), Logano (2015) and Hamlin (2016) have all won the Daytona 500, with Kurt Busch (2017) the only other active driver over the past five years to win it with Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014) retiring.

 

Kurt Busch is listed at +1600 to earn his second Daytona 500 victory while brother Kyle is higher up the board at +1200 along with Aric Almirola and Chase Elliott. Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. are between the brothers at +1400, and two-time winner Jimmie Johnson is in the next group after Kurt at +2000 with pole sitter William Byron, Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez.

 

Byron will be joined on the front row by Bowman, who placed second in qualifying followed by Johnson and Elliott, all driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

 

Dillon is one of the longer shots on the board at sports betting sites at +3300 in an effort to become the first repeat winner of the Daytona 500 since Sterling Marlin in 1995. He led only the final lap a year ago and placed 10th in qualifying right behind Keselowski and just ahead of Paul Menard (+2800).

 

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Sports betting coming to Massachusetts: Gov. Baker files legalization bill

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USA TODAY Sports

Sports betting coming to Massachusetts: Gov. Baker files legalization bill

Massachusetts residents soon won't have to travel far to wager on their hometown teams.

Mass. Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill Thursday to legalize sports betting in the Bay State.

If passed, the legislation would allow the Mass. Gaming Commission to issue sports wagering licenses to Category 1 resort casinos (MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett) and Category 2 casinos (Plainridge Park Casino).

Those licenses would allow local casinos to operate onsite sports wagering lounges, similar to those already up and running in Delaware, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Casinos and other companies like DraftKings -- which is headquartered in Boston -- also would be allowed to run online sports betting operations if they hold licenses and gain approval from the Gaming Commission.

"Expanding Massachusetts' developing gaming industry to include wagering on professional sports is an opportunity for Massachusetts to invest in local aid while remaining competitive with many other states pursuing similar regulations," Baker said in a statement Thursday, via NBC 10 Boston.

There's a fiscal benefit to the state legalizing sports gambling, of course. According to NBC 10 Boston's Perry Russom, revenue from in-person sports betting would be taxed at 10 percent, while online betting and daily fantasy sports revenue each would be taxed at 12.5 percent.

Baker's bill still needs to pass in court, but it sounds like Massachusetts will become the second New England state after Rhode Island to legalize sports betting.

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