Women's Sports: Simone Biles is AP's Female Athlete of the Year

49th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships - Day Ten

Simone Biles has been named AP Female Athlete of the Year for 2019 for the second time in her career.

It makes sense, really, that Simone Biles has been named the Female Athlete of the Year – she’s the greatest gymnast of all-time. Officially.

This year Biles added five gold medals to her already bursting awards cabinet at the 2019 Gymnastics World Championships.

The 4’8 pocket rocket now holds an overall 25 world championship medals plus the five Olympic medals she won in Rio in 2016.

Biles is without a doubt the Greatest of All Time and this GOAT status is something Biles is willing to wear with pride – and did, on her leotard at training for the national championships in August.

But at just 22-years-old Biles is already starting to look forward to her life beyond gymnastics.

“I feel like this is the beginning of my life and I don’t want gymnastics to be my whole entire life,” she said when speaking to the Associated Press.

“I’m definitely going to soak in the moment and enjoy it so 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I had the time of my life out there’ ... rather than ‘I was good, but I was miserable.’”

Her performances in floor, uneven bars, balance beam, and vault events, while impressive, are not the only strings on Biles’ bow.

Her most impactful moment this year could possibly be attributed to the video that circulated the internet of Biles talking about how USA Gymnastics and Olympics organisations should have done more to protect their gymnasts from abuse.

This followed the criminal investigation into the disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar who was convicted on multiple counts of sexual misconduct. Biles came out as one of his victims in the Team USA Gymnastics side and was surprised by the attention her comments received.

“I’m starting to realize it’s not just the gymternet anymore,” Biles said.

“It’s an overall thing. It’s weird to get that kind of attention, but at the end of the day, I feel gymnastics has been overlooked in non-Olympic years. Yeah, it puts pressure on me. But I’m not trying to think about all the attention from the outside world.”

Biles has come to realise now that with being the GOAT comes more clout and attention and she plans on using this as a force for good.

“I realize now with the platform I have it will be powerful if I speak up and speak for what I believe in,”

“It’s an honour to speak for those that are less fortunate. So if I can be a voice for them in a positive manner, then of course I’m going to do whatever I can.”

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