The White House on Friday announced that President Joe Biden would award Olympic gymnast Simone Biles the Medal of Freedom.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor for a person’s contributions to society.
Biles, a three-time Olympian for the United States, has won a total of 7 Olympic medals throughout her career.
During the 2021 Olympics in Tokoyo, Biles shocked the world by withdrawing from competitions, citing the need to focus on her mental health.
After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many. pic.twitter.com/6ILdtSQF7o
— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) July 28, 2021
Biles also made headlines after testifying in Congress about the sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, criticizing the mismanaged FBI investigation of his horrific record of abusing female gymnasts.
“We suffered and continue to suffer because no one at FBI, [USA Gymnastics] or the [United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee] did what was necessary to protect us,” Biles said. “We have been failed, and we deserve answers.”
Biles later said she should not have competed in Tokyo, citing the mental toll the Nassar investigation and trial had on her.
“I should have quit way before Tokyo when Larry Nassar was in the media for two years. It was too much,” she said in an interview. “But I was not going to let him take something I’ve worked for since I was six years old.”