Time Magazine named Simone Biles its “Athlete of the Year” for withdrawing from several events in the Tokyo Olympics last summer to protect her mental health.
Biles won a silver and bronze medal in the games, but she pulled out of a number of events due to mental health reasons and the “twisties,” which happens to some gymnasts when they lose their spatial perception in the air while performing.
“[W]hat Biles did transcended the chatter: she fought the stigma that has long silenced athletes, and shrugged off the naysayers who belittled her decision,” Time wrote.
The magazine also lauded Biles for testifying in the trial of Larry Nassar, a physician who was accused of sexually abusing dozens of elite athletes during medical appointments.
While it’s true that Biles brought more attention to mental health issues in the athletic community, it does seem strange to award an athlete such an honor for not competing.
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