INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 15, 2017 – Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, who brought home four gold and one bronze medal from the 2016 Olympic Games, was named the 2017 World Sportswoman of the Year at the annual Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. Biles is the first gymnast to win the annual award which honors supreme athletic performance and achievement.
Biles made history at the 2016 Olympic Games by winning four gold medals and becoming the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history with her 19 World and Olympic medals. She joins Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin as the only U.S. women to collect five Olympic gymnastics medals at a single Games. Biles’ four gold medals tie the Olympic record for a female gymnast in a single Games. A three-time World all-around champion (2013-15), Biles became the fourth female gymnast in Olympic history to capture back-to-back World and Olympic all-around titles and the first since Lilia Podkopayeva in 1996. She joins Gabby Douglas (2012), Liukin (2008), Carly Patterson (2004), and Retton (1984) as the only U.S. women to win an Olympic all-around title. Biles’ victory gave the United States a fourth consecutive gold medal in the women’s all-around, a feat no other country has accomplished at the Olympics in men’s or women’s gymnastics, and its fifth overall. She also won the USA’s first-ever women’s vault gold medal.
The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier global sports awards honoring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year. The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury – 60 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honoring the great athletes of today. Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements – the Laureus World Sports Academy, Laureus Sport for Good and the Laureus World Sports Awards – which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and use sport as the means to promote social change. For more information go to www.laureus.com.