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Simone Biles 'controversially' gets crowned as Athlete of the Year by TIME magazine

GOAT of gymnastics, Simone Biles earned the honour of being TIME magazine's Athlete of the Year for her statement act promoting mental health.

Simone Biles as the Athlete of the Year for TIME magazine

Simone Biles as the Athlete of the Year for TIME magazine



Published: 10 Dec 2021 3:42 PM GMT

The undoubted GOAT of gymnastics Simone Biles was crowned as the Athlete of the Year by TIME magazine for the year 2021 - after the star gymnast took a brilliant stance during the Tokyo Olympics and forwarded the word of mental health safe-keeping. Unlike the usually expected names like Tom Brady or Suni Lee who glittered with their athletic achievements, Simone Biles stood out by deciding to step away from the individual competition during the Tokyo Olympics after facing a case of 'twisties' during the quadrennial multi-sporting extravaganza.

However, this is quite a controversial decision as many people were of the opinion that Simone Biles deserted her team and country when she decided to not take part in the event. On the other hand, by following in the steps of tennis star Naomi Osaka, who also famously pulled out of the French Open citing mental health reasons, Simone Biles also made a statement with her withdrawal from the Tokyo Olympics that changed the narrative of how we conceive of sports and athletes as we know them.

"What Simone did changed the way we view our well-being, 100%. It showed us that we are more than the sport, that we are human beings who also can have days that are hard. It really humanized us," Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Suni Lee and Simone Biles' teammate mentioned. Meanwhile, Lee also got selected as the Athlete of the Year by Sports Illustrated too parallely.

A 4-time gold medallist from the Olympics, Simone Biles' decision to opt-out of the competition was met with mixed opinions during the Tokyo Olympics and roused a lot of controversies. However, facing 'twisties' which is a condition where a gymnast becomes disoriented in the air is quite dangerous when you are performing mid-air. "I was torn because things weren't going the way I wanted," Simone told Time, saying, "But looking back, I wouldn't change it for anything," the star gymnast confessed, whose decision rocked the sporting world but also put out a much-needed positive message on the necessity of mental health safe keeping of athletes.

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