Simone Biles, aka “the GOAT,” set another record Saturday, May 22, 2021 becoming the first women ever to land the extremely difficult Yurchenko double pike vault move during competition at the GK US Classic in Indianapolis. The move is a roundoff onto a springboard, followed by a back handspring onto the vaulting table, and ending with a piked double backflip into the air to landing. Historically this move has only been completed by just a few male gymnasts.
Biles, 24, successfully defended her GK US Classic all-around title. This was her first competition since October 2019.
Still elated from winning the 2021 Women’s NCAA Basketball Championship in front of her hometown crowd, San Antonio native, Wagner High School alumna, and Stanford University standout Kiana Williams is moving on up. Just recently Williams received a key to the city and now she is headed to the defending champion WNBA Seattle Storm. Williams was a drafted 18th overall in the second round of the 2021 WNBA Draft. Congratulations Kiana Williams!
NFL’s First Black Woman Referee
Maia Chaka made history in early March becoming only the second woman and the very first Black woman to be hired as an NFL referee since the league was founded in 1920. Chaka was added to the NFL roster of game officials for the 2021 season.
“I am honored to be selected as an NFL official,” Chaka said in a statement. “But this moment is bigger than a personal accomplishment. It is an accomplishment for all women, my community, and my culture.”
“It didn’t really hit me until just now,” Chaka said on The Today Show. “When I saw the introduction, I’m like, ‘This is really real,’ because this is just something that we’re just always taught to work hard for. Sometimes we just don’t take time to stop and smell our own roses.”
Chaka, a 2006 HBCU graduate of Norfolk State University earned her Bachelor’s degree in education. Currently she is a health and physical education teacher at Renaissance Academy where she teaches at-risk youth. She once received a Teacher of the Year award a few years back.
In 2014, Chaka made history as one of the first women officials to work a FBS bowl game. She has worked NFL preseason games as part of the developmental program, but now she will be part of the crew for regular-season action. She began her career in 2006 officiating high school games and then moved up in the college ranks to Conference USA and then the Pac-12 Conference, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Chaka most recently has been working Pac-12 games and also worked the sidelines for the short-lived XFL last year.
Chaka hopes to encourage young people, especially her students to reach for their dreams.
“I just want them to know if you have a passion for something and if you have a drive for something, don’t let it hold you back just because you think that something may give you some type of limitation,” she said. “Just continue to work hard and always, always, always just follow your dreams.”
What a proud and distinguished honor to earn during Women’s History Month! Congratulations Maia Chaka!
SPURS WELCOME FANS BACK TO THE AT&T CENTER STARTING MARCH 12
Arena Prepared with New and Enhanced Safety Measures Focused on People, Surfaces and Air
Starting Friday, March 12 the AT&T Center will once again be home to the best fans in the NBA when the San Antonio Spurs host the Orlando Magic. Spurs Sports & Entertainment today announced its health and safety plans to welcome back fans for the first time since March 10, 2020.
“We are thrilled to welcome our fans back to the AT&T Center,” said RC Buford, Spurs Sports & Entertainment CEO. “We’ve always said we have the best fans in the NBA and playing in an empty arena has reminded us all of how fortunate we are to enjoy the amazing support we receive from our fans. We can’t wait to see, hear and engage with our fans again starting March 12.”
Fans will be invited back at a reduced capacity of approximately 3,200 to help maintain physical distancing. The March 12 game will be the first of 17 home games for the Spurs in the Second Half of the 2020-21 season, presented by H-E-B.
“For the last 10 months our team has been laser focused on implementing heightened health and safety measures, concentrating on three key areas, people, surfaces and air,” said AT&T Center VP and General Manager Casey Heverling. “The entire organization has gone above and beyond to make sure that the AT&T Center is a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone in attendance.”
Since April 2020, SS&E has made numerous changes to policies, procedures and operations within the AT&T Center. For a full list of enhanced health and safety updates and protocols, visit Our Commitment to you. Highlights of the arena’s new safety enhancements include:
Our fans come first and we are also counting on them to help keep everyone in the arena safe:
- Wear face masks from the moment you enter the AT&T Center. Masks may be removed when eating or drinking
- Complete the mobile health screening before you arrive. The health pass is required for entry. It takes a few minutes to complete so be sure to download the CLEAR app before you go
- Temperatures will be checked at the door. Remember to stay home if you’re not feeling well
- Bags up to 6” x 8” with a maximum of one compartment are allowed. If your bag is too large, we now have Binbox as an option for you to store your bag onsite for a small fee
- Maintain physical distancing while navigating the venue, including elevators. We’ve added signage and directions throughout to help with this
- Fans will have a cashless and touchless experience at the arena, from paying for parking, to scanning your ticket at touchless ticket-scanning pedestals, to ordering food and beverages, paying for it with Spurs Pay and picking up your order at one of our 22 express lines throughout the arena. It’s all a tap away in the Spurs app. Be sure to download the app and your mobile tickets prior to arrival
- To help make the digital experience as seamless as possible, we’ve upgraded the arena with AT&T’s latest 5G and Wi-Fi 6 technology. The AT&T Center is the first arena in the U.S. to have AT&T Wi-Fi 6 and 5G services.
- We will continue to regularly seek input from local, state and national public health experts and the NBA for guidance on keeping our fans and staff safe
We are putting meticulous cleaning measures in place to deliver enhanced surface cleaning for each game:
- Electrostatic sprayers will sanitize the arena from floor to ceiling with a hospital-grade disinfectant
- Thanks to a partnership with Xenex, UV robots will be used for surface cleaning
- Designated crews will clean all surfaces including seats, cupholders, handrails, elevators, concession stands, restrooms and other high-touch areas before each game
- A dedicated “Clean Team” at each game will focus solely on disinfecting high-touch points, with every restroom featuring a “Clean Team” attendant
- Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available throughout the arena
Thanks to a new innovative partnership, the air inside the arena now has increased purification and filtration:
- We are using the highest rated filtration systems possible and increasing the fresh air circulation throughout the arena
- Through GermLogic, new units provide advanced and comprehensive disinfection services and products to help prevent the spread of numerous types of viruses, bacteria, mold and fungi that can develop in the air. Air purification units have been installed in offices, locker rooms, VIP areas and meeting rooms
Season Ticket Members and partners will have priority access to available ticket packages for the second half of the season beginning March 2. Fans can receive exclusive presale access beginning March 5 at 12 p.m. CST by joining the Official Spurs Fan Club. Single-game tickets and suites go on sale to the general public March 5 at 2 p.m. CST. Seating pods of two or four seats will be available throughout the arena to maintain six feet of physical distancing between each group of fans.