INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 8, 2016 – The Final Five, the 2016 Olympic team gold medalists, and Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles of Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre, are among the IMPACT25 finalists for espnW’s 2016 Woman of the Year award. IMPACT25 is espnW’s annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sport.
The Final Five made U.S. history at the Rio Olympic Games by winning the USA’s second-straight Olympic team gold, a first for the United States and its third overall. The U.S. women posted the top score on each of the four apparatus to secure the title. In total, the women brought home nine medals (four gold, four silver and one bronze), the most women’s gymnastics Olympic medals won by a single country since the Soviet Union claimed 10 medals at the 1972 Olympics. The members of the Final Five are: Biles; Gabby Douglas of Tarzana, Calif./Buckeye Gymnastics; Laurie Hernandez of Old Bridge, N.J./MG Elite; Madison Kocian of Dallas, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics; and Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan’s American Gymnastics.
In Rio, Biles won five medals (four gold and one bronze), becoming the most decorated U.S. gymnast in history with her 19 World and Olympic medals. She claimed a fourth-straight all-around gold medal for the U.S. women, marking the first time a country claimed four straight all-around titles in men’s or women’s gymnastics. Biles is the first defending World all-around champion to win the Olympic all-around title since 1996. She also won the vault and floor exercise titles, along with the balance beam bronze. Biles won the USA’s first-ever women’s vault gold medal. She is the only U.S. female gymnast with four Olympic gold medals and joins Mary Lou Retton, Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin as the only U.S. women to collect five Olympic gymnastics medals in a single Games. Biles was also chosen by the other Olympic athletes in Rio to carry the U.S. flag in the closing ceremony.
The other nominees are: Angelique Kerber, Ashleigh Johnson, Claressa Shields, UConn Women’s Basketball, Tatyana McFadden, Elizabeth Marks, Helen Maroulis, Jessie Graff, Katie Ledecky, Nneka Ogwumike, U.S. Women’s Rowing Eight, Brenda Tracy, Hillary Clinton, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Jessica Luther, Kathryn Smith, Kylie Bunbury, Leslie Jones, Minnesota Lynx, Mira Nair, Monica Abbott, Robin West and Simone Manuel.