The greatest gymnast of all time will receive the greatest civilian honor in the United States.
President Joe Biden on Friday announced that Simone Biles will be one of 17 Americans who will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom next Thursday, July 7. Other 2022 recipients include Megan Rapinoe, Steve Jobs, John McCain, Denzel Washington and Gabriele Giffords.
At age 25, Biles will be the youngest athlete ever to receive the honor, which recognizes far more than her success on the Olympic and World Championship levels, where she has won a combined 32 medals. The White House announcement lauded Biles as "a prominent advocate for athletes’ mental health and safety, children in the foster care system, and victims of sexual assault."
According to the official White House release, "The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.
"These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith. They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come."
Find more on this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients here.
Watch the full ceremony below. Hear what President Biden said about Biles at 0:11. She is awarded the medal at 26:41.