At the annual Laureus World Sports Awards ceremony on Tuesday night at Monaco, the four-time Rio Olympic champion Simone Biles did it once again! She has been awarded as the World Sportswoman of the Year, alongside fellow American, four-time World Sportsman of the Year Usain Bolt.
Biles has dominated the women’s artistic gymnastics in the past Olympic cycle after almost going home with five gold medals but the slip on the beam has resulted in four gold and one bronze instead. Despite not having been able to meet people’s expectations that she could complete a clean sweep of the five events in which she was competing, the 19 year old gymnast insisted that there are no lingering disappointments. She said, “Even to walk away with a medal on beam with the error I did means a lot to me. So I really do feel good about my performances.”
Because of her immaculate talent, before 2016 closed she was awarded as the Associate Press (AP) Female Athlete of the Year and also the first gymnast to be awarded by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) as the Best Female Athlete of 2016.
Recently, the Laureus World Sports Award has been added to Biles’ collection of awards. She is the first gymnast to be decorated with this prestigious global honor and everyone gave her a standing ovation as she received her statuette on stage from gymnastics legend and Laureus World Sports Academy member Nadia Comaneci and HSH Prince Albert of Monaco.
Biles said, “Wow! I am so speechless. It’s an honor to receive this award from Prince Albert and Nadia Comaneci. I looked up to her for so many years. I want to thank the Academy so much for this award, which really means a lot. This award isn’t only for me. I think it’s for all the other nominees in the category. We went through depths to get to where we are. We have all achieved so much. So thank you so much.”
The other nominees she was talking about was fellow American, swimmer Katie Ledecky and athlete Allyson Felix, as well as German tennis player Angelique Kerber, British cyclist Laura Kenny, and Jamaican sprint star Elaine Thompson.
Although of course Biles was proud of her accomplishments, after collecting her recent award, she does admit that her celebrity status come with some drawbacks. She told CNN on the red carpet that, “I just hear my name all the time now, and I’m just like ‘come on, can I change my name now?!’”
Despite the fame that she shares with all other Olympic legends, Biles make sure to keep herself grounded. “I still don’t recognize myself like that because if I do I feel I might stop working as hard as I do,” she said. “It’s just like a mind game in my head.”
Currently, Biles is enjoying a break from her sport, and would return to training late this year with her aim pointed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The said award is the materialization of every sportsman’s dream, to bring glory to not only himself but also to his country of origin. It doesn’t just award individual athletes but also the greatest sporting achievements seen throughout the year. It is held every year and started in 25th of May, 2000 in Monte Carlo, constituted in 1999 by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation founding patrons Daimler and Richemont. Votes were casted by voting in a secret ballot.
Keep up with the latest news and updates about the sport of gymnastics by following our official blogs and social media sites. Enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy and learn gymnastics for kids with us! Come and experience world class training and education!