Four-time Olympic gold medallist Simone Biles has earned Time magazine’s prestigious ‘athlete of the year’ honour.
The 24-year-old gymnast travelled to the Tokyo Olympic Games this year intent on rewriting the record books but instead brought about a ground-breaking, global conversation around athletes’ mental well-being.
She dropped out of the opening event in Tokyo, citing concerns for her mental health and a case of the “twisties,” a frightening and dangerous form of mental disorientation while completing one of her gravity-defying feats.
She later returned to the competition, winning a bronze medal on the balance beam after earning the support of her fellow athletes in gymnastics and beyond.
“It showed us that we are more than the sport, that we are human beings who also can have days that are hard,” her teammate, Sunisa Lee, told Time.
“It really humanised us.”