After a year of experiencing both career highs and personal lows, Olympic medalist Simone Biles has shown the world a strength that truly sets her apart from many in the realm of sports.
TIME Magazine recognized that excellence and all she had to overcome in 2021 by bestowing Biles with the prestigious honor as “Athlete Of The Year.”
The decision sparked some controversy on social media due to the well-known fact that Biles didn’t even perform in the Tokyo Olympics this past summer, instead opting out to focus on mental health after experiencing a condition described as the “Twisties” that causes mid-air disorientation for gymnasts.
Take a look below at a clip from Simone’s TIME Athlete Of The Year profile that describes how her own team reacted to the sudden withdrawal:
“For her teammates, her withdrawal from events was a decision they didn’t have time to process as they scrambled to fill her position in the lineups. ‘We all knew we had to continue not without her, but for her,’ says Sunisa Lee, who stepped up to win the all-around gold in Tokyo. ‘What Simone did changed the way we view our well-being, 100%. It showed us that we are more than the sport, that we are human beings who also can have days that are hard. It really humanized us.’”
There also was her powerful testimony from back in September when she and other victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar stood before the Senate Judiciary Committee and slammed multiple official gymnastics organizations for failing to do their jobs and allowing the abuse to go on for as long as it did.
Biles came forward with her own story of sexual abuse by Nassar back in January 2018, finally closing that chapter this year with a bravery that further asserts her GOAT status.
Do you see this as a deserved honor or did another sports star make a better example this year? Let us know after reading her full cover story over on TIME, and check out Simone Biles gracing the cover as Athlete Of The Year below:
READ MORE STORIES ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM:
Celebrities Flood Simone Biles With Support Over Her Tokyo Olympics Withdrawl
1. Michelle Obama1 of 10
2. Amanda Gorman
2 of 10
The GOAT @Simone_Biles having to sit out--because a man is not held accountable to do the same-is shameful. Biles still cheering on her teammates, even while taking care of herself, is one of the many graces that make her a true champion, forever & always. We love u Simone. https://t.co/nrfaJhoaja— Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) July 27, 2021
3. Uzo Aduba3 of 10
4. Cori Bush
4 of 10
I stand with Simone Biles.— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) July 27, 2021
I still stand with Naomi Osaka.
Your health and peace matters. You’re reminding Black women that we can take the space we need for ourselves.
5. Hoda Kotb
5 of 10
Someone said it best. @Simone_Biles already won. She is a class act. Withdrew from team competion after vault... stayed and cheered on her teammates... got them chalk for their hands.. encouraged.. hugged them. She already won. Congrats on the silver medal! @TeamUSA @USAGym— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) July 27, 2021
6. Manny Pacquiao
6 of 10
Once a champion, always a champion. God Bless @Simone_Biles.— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) July 27, 2021
7. Loni Love7 of 10
8. Luvvie Ajayi
8 of 10
Prioritizing your mental health is as gold 🥇 as it gets. #SimoneBiles taking a step back to “work on her mindfulness” is a legitimate, honorable reason to take a step back from the Olympics.— Luvvie is the #ProfessionalTroublemaker (@Luvvie) July 27, 2021
Y’all not about to stress us out. pic.twitter.com/vHeZ9nioqp
9. Kavitha Davidson
9 of 10
Simone Biles won nationals w/broken toes in both feet, worlds w/a kidney stone, and has carried the burden of being a face of sexual assault survivors as a national institution failed to support them— Kavitha A. Davidson (@kavithadavidson) July 27, 2021
Half of y'all yelling about "toughness" can't handle wearing a mask in Wegman's
10. Taraji P. Henson
10 of 10
Simone Biles Named As TIME Magazine’s 2021 “Athlete Of The Year” was originally published on blackamericaweb.com