Simone Biles, an American gymnast, has received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement award. Biles, 24, is widely regarded as one of the best gymnasts of all time, having won four Olympic gold medals as well as 19 World Championship crowns.
She talked openly about being assaulted by team doctor Larry Nassar, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison, in 2018. She has also been lauded for openly discussing her mental health issues.
The Lifetime Achievement award, according to Biles, was a “unbelievable honour” and “very humbling.”
“I can scarcely believe it when I see the names of others who have been honoured before me,” she added.
Biles was anticipated to win additional gold medals in this summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, but she withdrew from five of her six finals, citing the need to focus on her mental health. She said that she had the ‘twisties,’ a serious mental block that causes gymnasts to lose their direction in the air.
Biles subsequently said that she “should have retired much before Tokyo.”
“2021 wasn’t the year I was anticipating,” Biles stated as she accepted her prize. I had to take a break from competing this summer to heal from an unnoticed injury.
“It was the most difficult choice of my life, but I chose to speak out to demonstrate that mental health difficulties are nothing to be embarrassed of.”
“At first, I expected some criticism, but what transpired was the polar opposite. The outpouring of love and encouragement was astounding, and it warms my heart to recall those encouraging remarks.
“I’d want to take this opportunity to thank my teammates, friends, and family, who have shown me – and continue to show me – so much love and strength.”
“I’m very thankful to everyone in the UK who sent such supportive and caring letters to me at that time,” she continued.
“More than any award, what I will always remember is hearing how I may have made someone feel a bit better.”
“I will continue to work for what I believe in, for sport to be a better environment for young people to develop and thrive, and I will continue to speak out about mental health.”
‘A very amazing individual.’
Simone Biles accepts the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.
Biles, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, spent most of her childhood in and out of foster care until being adopted by her maternal grandpa, Ron, and his second wife, Nellie.
She grew up in Texas and was exposed to gymnastics on a field trip when she was six years old, and she began her elite career eight years later in 2011.
Only two years later, in 2013, she won her first two global titles, and by the end of 2015, she had added eight more to her tally.
She made her Olympic debut in 2016, winning all four of her Olympic championships as well as a bronze medal.
Following a sabbatical in 2017, she won nine more global championships in 2018 and 2019, and she was projected to win additional golds in Tokyo 2020, which was postponed to 2021 because to the Covid-19 epidemic.
She withdrew from five of her six finals after getting the twisties, yet she still earned team silver and individual beam bronze.
Biles has been open about her rehabilitation since returning from the Olympics, and she is currently travelling the United States with other members of the United States’ gymnastics team, but she has not yet decided if she will compete again.
“We are incredibly proud of her for the way she has handled herself and developed,” Ron added. “I’m absolutely astounded by the way she handles herself.”
“Simone is a one-of-a-kind individual.” I’m not sure where her gift came from, but she’s really good.
“I tell people it’s a God-given skill, and I always urge her not to waste what God has given you, because we didn’t give it to you.”
“It still blows my head that this is coming from our daughter.”
“I view Simone as an outstanding young person,” her mother, Nellie, remarked. This is the Simone I remember from when we first met.
“Simone was chatty, Simone was expressive, and she didn’t always agree with what I said.” Simone had her own views, she argued for herself, and she’s always spoken up for her sister, so she’ll always speak up for someone.
“This is still the person I’m familiar with.” This is someone who will speak up when necessary; she is someone who is discovering her voice and strengthening it in support of what she believes in.
“This is someone who has gone through a lot of hardships, just like the rest of us, and she is not afraid to talk about them.”
“She has become someone who many people can connect to from an athletic aspect, and many people can relate to Simone from a human one, simply because she has, through time, made society believe in her and understand her from both sides.”
“I think that tells a lot about Simone’s strength, especially considering she’s just 24.”