After a long year of talking about her mental health challenges, four-time Olympic gold medalist, Gymnast Simone Biles, has been named; Time magazine’s athlete of the year for 2021, as announced by the publication.“As the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in a sport that captivates the globe every four years, Biles is all about control. Her life is dedicated to micromanaging every possible element; her diet, her training, her sleep—that goes into performing; so when the lights are brightest, and the stakes highest, little is left to chance.”
“But for Biles, control isn’t just about winning; it can be the difference between life and death,” TIME continues. “She now has four skills named after her, each a breathtaking combination of daring flips and twists. Avoiding disaster requires a constant, firm grip on mental acuity.”
“If 2020 showcased the power of athletes as activists after the murder of George Floyd, this year demonstrated how athletes are uniquely positioned to propel mental health to the forefront of a broader cultural conversation,” the publication writes.
Time also noted that at a time when anxiety and depression rates were rising; Biles “made clear the importance of prioritizing oneself and refusing to succumb to external expectations.
TIME named her the Athlete Of The Year in 2021 for her decision not to perform and instead focus on her mental health.