She did it. AGAIN. Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast of all time, is now the 2019 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. We ain’t surprised.
Yesterday, the Associated Press made the announcement, heralding Biles’ unparalleled athleticism:
Her triple-twisting double-flip (the “triple double”) at the end of her first tumbling pass on floor exercise is a wondrous blur. Her double-twisting double-flip beam dismount (the “double double”) is so tough the International Gymnastics Federation made the unusual decision to downplay its value in an effort to deter other gymnasts from even trying it. This is both the blessing and the curse of making the nearly impossible look tantalizingly attainable.
Of course, this wasn’t the first time Biles received the honor. AP also bestowed the title on her in 2016 after her dazzling performances at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where Biles captured four gold medals and one bronze medal—right along with our hearts.
This 2019 honor comes after Biles clenched her 25th world championship medal in October at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, breaking “the all-time record of 25 medals by any gymnast, male or female,” AP reports.
“She’s just above anything else that we have seen in the sport,” five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci said of Biles after she broke the record.
While gymnastics fans and sports commentators are eager to see what Biles will do at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—namely if she can become the first female gymnast in more than fifty years to repeat as an Olympic champion—it’s clear one of Biles’ goals is simply to enjoy the ride.
“I feel like this is the beginning of my life and I don’t want gymnastics to be my whole entire life,” she said. “I’m definitely going to soak in the moment and enjoy it so 10 years from now I can look back and say ‘I had the time of my life out there’...rather than ‘I was good, but I was miserable.’”
From the looks of things, she is having the time of her life. No matter how she fares in Tokyo, we’ll be giving her a standing O. She’s earned it.