Who is Simone Biles? TIME’s 2021 Athlete of the year.

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Simone Biles took a break at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year due to mental health concerns.

The 24 year old Ohio native has been named as TIME magazine’s 2021 Athlete of the year but here’s what you should know about the gymnastics great.

Time magazine have today named Team USA gymnast Simone Biles as the 2021 Athlete of the Year.

The 24 year old American took a break during the Tokyo Olympics held earlier this year following issues concerning her mental health.

Simone Biles took a break at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year due to mental health concerns.

She eventually returned to compete at the balance beam winning the bronze medal, making it her 7th career medal at the Olympics.

Biles’ decision to take a break during the Olympics came in the midst of the “twisties”, a gymnastics term for a dangerous sensation of being unable to properly locate your body while in the air.

After her decision to step aside, Suni Lee won the individual all-around gold medal for Team USA but Simone also won silver as part of team at the Tokyo games.

Simone Biles at a Senate hearing on the Larry Nassar abuse scandal.
Simone Biles at a Senate hearing on the Larry Nassar abuse scandal.

“We all knew we had to continue not without her, but for her.

What Simone did changed the way we view our well-being, 100 percent. 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.” Lee told Time

”At that point, it was no longer about medaling, but about getting back out there, I wanted to compete at the Olympics again and have that experience that I came for.

I didn’t really care about the outcome. On that beam, it was for me.”, Simone tells Time.

 2021 Athlete of the year Simone Biles on the cover of Time Magazine.
2021 Athlete of the year Simone Biles on the cover of Time Magazine.

Simone explained one of the factors she considered before deciding to take a break was being the last survivor of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse and still competing while making efforts to push USA Gymnastics and the Olympic Committee to hold accountable those who allowed it to happen.

“I definitely do think it had an effect, It’s a lot to put on one person. I feel like the guilt should be on them and should not be held over us. They should be feeling this (pain), not me.”, the 24 year old told Time.

Tennis legend Serena Williams authored the section on Biles and applauded the 24-year-old for her work spotlighting mental health.

“What she embodies truly reflects the endless potential of Black women. I wish I had her to look up to when I was younger and trying to realize my dreams.” Williams said.

Earlier in September this year, Biles was named to Times list of the 100 most influential people of 2021.
Earlier in September this year, Biles was named to Times list of the 100 most influential people of 2021.

Simone’s impact goes far beyond gymnastics and sports in general, something recognized by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as part of the Time feature story.

“Simone Biles has used her remarkable position as the world’s greatest gymnast ever to inspire a long overdue global conversation on mental health.

Her influence extends far beyond the realm of sports and shows us that another world—a better world—is possible when we speak our truths with integrity and authenticity.”, Colin tells Time.

Biles had received some criticism for her decision to step away, but she’s happy with the end result as she says she wouldn’t change her decision for anything looking back at what happened.

She also hasn’t ruled out a return for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

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