Simone Biles has been named TIME magazine's 2021 Athlete of the Year.
On Thursday (December 9), the magazine recognized the gymnast for her contributions to not only her sport but to humanity, citing Biles' brave decision to withdraw from four events during the Tokyo Olympics to protect her mental health.
"At a time when anxiety and depression rates are skyrocketing—the CDC reports a 50% rise in suicide attempts by teenage girls during the pandemic—and many people are struggling with what they owe themselves vs. what others demand of them, Biles made clear the importance of prioritizing oneself and refusing to succumb to external expectations," TIME wrote. "With the eyes of the world upon her, she took the extraordinary step of saying, That’s enough. I’m enough."
Colin Kaepernick also praised Biles’ “grace, eloquence and courage,” telling TIME, “Simone Biles has used her remarkable position as the world’s greatest gymnast ever to inspire a long overdue global conversation on mental health."
He added, “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.”
Click HERE to read Biles' full cover story.