Simone Biles becomes youngest ever Medal of Freedom recipient!

Washington, DC - Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles made history on Thursday as she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden.

US President Joe Biden presents Gymnast Simone Biles with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
US President Joe Biden presents Gymnast Simone Biles with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

The superstar athlete became the youngest person to ever receive the honor.

Biles is the most decorated US gymnast in history, with 32 Olympic and world championship medals, and has also been an advocate for mental health and sexual assault survivors.

President Biden recognized Biles achievements both inside and outside the gym, as he awarded the 25-year-old the nation's highest civilian honor.

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"When we see her compete, we see unmatched power and determination, grace and daring," Biden said.

"A trailblazer and a role model, when she stands on the podium, we see what she is: absolute courage to turn personal pain into a greater purpose, to stand up and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."

"Today, she adds to her medal count of 32 – I don't know if you're going to find room."

US Soccer athlete Megan Rapinoe honored

US President Joe Biden presents US soccer player Megan Rapinoe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
US President Joe Biden presents US soccer player Megan Rapinoe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

During the same ceremony, Megan Rapinoe was the first soccer player to be awarded a Medal of Freedom.

Rapinoe has won two Women's World Cups and an Olympic gold medal and has also been a prominent figure due to her activism.

The OL Reign captain has battled throughout her career for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights.

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Athletes Simone Biles clinches ticket to Paris games with brilliant display at US Olympics trials!

"Beyond the World Cup titles and the Olympic medals, Megan is a champion for [an] essential American truth that everyone – everyone – is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect," Biden said.

While Rapinoe was at the White House, her United States team-mates clinched qualification for the 2023 World Cup with a 5-0 win over Jamaica.

Cover photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP

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