Time Magazine named American Gymnast Simone Biles’ ‘Athlete of the Year.’
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Biles has been dubbed the ‘GOAT,’ greatest of all time, of gymnastics. She embodies the perfect example of a champion. Her work ethic, drive and determination are what set her apart from the rest.
Biles is the first African-American woman to win four gold medals in gymnastics at a single Olympics. She is also the first woman to win three consecutive world all-around titles.
After her withdrawal from the Olympic all-around gymnastics competition in Tokyo, fans were concerned for a reason considering her dedication to the sport and her team. Biles opened up about her mental health struggles and wanted to show athletes and people around the world that it is ‘okay not to be okay.’
Her team scrambled to replace her in the line-up but noted that they needed to compete for Simone to support her decision. She put a spotlight on prioritizing mental health in sports, which is a conversation that needs to continue.
The gymnast was honest about the triggering points in Tokyo, with the biggest factor being the Nassar abuse that she still needed to heal from.
Out of the dozens of survivors to come forward regarding the former team doctor Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, Biles is the only remaining gymnast still competing. It took years for Biles to come forward about Nassar’s abuse, but in 2017 she broke and went to her mother.
Nellie has been the glue to picking up Bile’s mental state and helping her heal over the last few years. She has been by her side throughout the process and is so proud of how brave her daughter has been to share her journey with the world.
Bile’s credits her faith for helping keep her balanced in all aspects of her life and even holds her rosary in her gym bag for all of her competitions. Biles is roman catholic and regularly attends Sunday Mass with her parents.
The 24-year-old’s path to success has been met with obstacles long before her career even started. She was born in Ohio to a drug and alcohol-addicted mother. Her grandparents adopted Simone and her younger sister and pushed them to chase their dreams.
Simone has said that she was always a “gym rat” and spent most of her time at the gym practicing gymnastics. She began training at age six, and by the time she was eight, she had already won several competitions.
There are now four gymnastic moves named after the elite athlete, which shows how popular she is.
Simone Biles is a hero, an icon, and a champion. She is also an inspiration to millions of girls and women worldwide, and we can’t wait to see what she does next. At just 24-years-old she has accomplished more in her short career than what some athletes and people spend their entire lives trying to do. She is more than deserving of the ‘Athlete of the Year’ honor.