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Simone Biles named TIME’s 2021 Athlete Of The Year.
Simone Biles has been named TIME magazine’s 2021 Athlete of the Year.
The magazine on Thursday, December 9, recognized the gymnast for her contributions to not only her sport but to humanity, citing Biles’ brave decision to withdraw from four events during the Tokyo Olympics to protect her mental health.
Here’s what authors Alice Park and Sean Gregory wrote at TIME, in part:
“If 2020 showcased the power of athletes as activists after the murder of George Floyd, this year demonstrated how athletes are uniquely positioned to propel mental health to the forefront of a broader cultural conversation. While a few sports stars have opened up about mental health—Michael Phelps, for instance, has been candid about his post-Olympic depression—in 2021, the discussion became more wide-reaching and sustained. After withdrawing from the French Open in May to prioritize her well-being, citing anxiety, Naomi Osaka wrote in a TIME cover essay, “It’s O.K. not to be O.K.” Biles, by dint of her status at one of the world’s most watched events, raised the volume. “I do believe everything happens for a reason, and there was a purpose,” she tells TIME in an interview nearly four months later. “Not only did I get to use my voice, but it was validated as well.”
While supporters lauded Biles, critics lambasted her for “quitting.” But what Biles did transcended the chatter: she fought the stigma that has long silenced athletes, and shrugged off the naysayers who belittled her decision. “If I were going to quit, I had other opportunities to quit,” she says. “There is so much I’ve gone through in this sport, and I should have quit over all that—not at the Olympics. It makes no sense.”
A month after the Games, Biles put her vulnerability on display once again. Along with three other of the hundreds of other athletes who had been sexually abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar, Biles gave emotional testimony before the Senate about the failures of institutions like the FBI, USA Gymnastics (USAG) and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to stop him.”
“I do believe everything happens for a reason, and there was a purpose,” Biles tells TIME. “Not only did I get to use my voice, but it was validated as well.”
Colin Kaepernick also praised Biles’ “grace, eloquence, and courage,” telling TIME, “Simone Biles has used her remarkable position as the world’s greatest gymnast ever to inspire a long overdue global conversation on mental health.”
He added, “Her influence extends far beyond the realm of sports and shows us that another world—a better world—is possible when we speak our truths with integrity and authenticity.”
Joshua Kimmich diagnosed with lung problem following coronavirus infection.
Bayern Munich have confirmed unvaccinated star Joshua Kimmich will miss the remainder of 2021 after he was diagnosed with a lung problem following coronavirus infection.
The midfielder tested positive at the end of last month and had his wages docked for missing games while in self-isolation.
Kimmich has ended his period of quarantine but is still unable to return to training as he battles with the side effects of the virus.
In a statement released on Bayern’s official site, Kimmich said: ‘I’m happy my self-isolation caused by the coronavirus has ended.
‘I’m doing very well, but I’m not yet able to train fully due to slight infiltrations in my lungs.
‘I’ll therefore do some rehabilitative training and can’t wait to be fully back in action in January.’
Kimmich had previously been outspoken about vaccination against the virus, his scepticism fuelled by what he perceived to be a lack of studies. He insists that he is not an anti-vaxxer.
‘I have concerns about the lack of long-term studies,’ he said.
‘I am of course aware of my responsibility. I follow all hygiene measures and get tested every two to three days. Everyone should make the decision for themselves.’
Kimmich will miss the clashes with Mainz, Stuttgart, and Wolfsburg before the year ends.
According to Bild, the midfielder was one of five unvaccinated players to have pay docked over their refusal to take up the vaccine.
Along with Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, and Michael Cuisance, and Choupo-Moting, Kimmich was told by the club that they would not be paid for every week missed due to self-isolation, either through close contact with a positive test, or through contracting the virus themselves.
Tottenham’s Europa Conference League match off after 13 positive Covid-19 tests.
Tottenham’s Europa Conference League match against Rennes on Thursday is off after eight players and five members of staff tested positive for Covid-19 at the London club. Their match against Brighton on Sunday in the Premier League is believed to be under review. Spurs said they closed their first-team training centre on Wednesday. “Discussions are …
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