Simone Biles Named AP Female Athlete Of The Year: 10 Of Her Most Memorable Moments

December 27, 2016  |  
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Simone Biles has been voted the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. Voted by U.S. editors and news directors, Biles grabbed 31 out of a possible 59 votes to be honored as the sportswoman of 2016.

Biles had great competition. She bested fellow Olympian Katie Ledecky, who won four golds and a silver in the pool during the Rio Olympics to come in second place in voting. Serena Williams, who won Wimbledon for the seventh time this year, tied with AP Women’s NCAA Basketball Player of the Year, Breanna Stewart, for third place. Biles’s Olympic teammate, Gabby Douglas, was awarded the same honor back in 2012 after her epic turn at the London Olympics.

Even without such an honor, Biles has had a pretty incredible year. She’s won gold, covered magazines, met her favorite celebrities, turned heads on red carpets and become quite the role model for young girls everywhere. Here are 10 memorable moments from Biles’s best year yet.

Simone Biles


When She Won Four Olympic Gold Medals

With her four golds, Biles set a new American record for the most gold medals in women’s gymnastics at a single Olympic Games. She also nabbed a bronze medal for her individual work on the balance beam.

Simone Biles

When She Stood up for Those With ADHD

When Biles’s medical records were leaked after the World Anti-Doping Agency was hacked, the gymnast handled the reveal of her attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnosis with admirable grace. As she put it, “Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.”

Simone Biles

When She Broke Records With Her Fourth National Championship Win

In June, Biles won her fourth straight title at the P&G Gymnastics Championships. By doing so, she became the first gymnast in more than 40 years to win that many. It was just the affirmation she needed ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez

When She Shut Down the Idea of Beef With Gabby Douglas

In 2016, people reached far and wide for a reason to down Gabby Douglas and claim there was a rivalry between her and Biles. However, Biles wouldn’t feed into rivalry talk. When asked by Today‘s Savannah Guthrie if they were competitors, Biles said, “Not so much,” and Douglas responded with “We’re not catty like that.” In fact, the two women are friends, and as Biles put it, they “keep it fun.” It’s all love.

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on cloud 9 💙☁️ @zacefron

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When She Met Her #MCE

One of the perks of stealing the spotlight is that people you look up to end up having you on their radar. Biles was quite head over heels for actor Zac Efron, so when she had the chance to meet him, it was a memorable moment indeed.

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QUEEN B 😍👑😭❤️

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When She Got Dolled up and Met Beyoncé

As we told you, the VMAs were the first big awards show post the Olympics that Biles and the Final Five were able to attend. It was the prom-ish experience Biles was never able to have, as she gave up such teenage trappings to focus on gymnastics. She was eventually able to get dolled up for the VMAs and have the experience she missed out on — and she even was able to meet Beyoncé!

Simone Biles

When Simone Became a Must-Have Baby Name

You know you’ve made your mark when everyone wants to name their child after you. According to Google Trends, “Simone baby names” searches jumped up by 230 percent in just the month of August during the Olympic games. Biles wasn’t alone in her influence though, as gold-medal winning swimmer Simone Manuel also played a part in the immense interest in the name all of a sudden.

When She Did a No-Handed Flip to Throw a First Pitch

When compared to winning gold in Rio, throwing a first pitch at a baseball game is peanuts. However, you haven’t seen a pitch like the one Biles threw at a Houston Astros game in July. In the words of Joanne the Scammer, “iconic!”

When She Released a Book

After her success at the Olympics in Rio, Biles wasted no time in getting her life story to the masses. She released Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, a Life in Balance in November. In it, she addressed fat-shaming comments from a former coach, and she spoke about not letting him impact the way she sees her powerful body.

When She Tried to Get President Obama to Hit a Split

When the Final Five visited the White House a few months ago, they didn’t just meet with President Obama and the First Lady, but they truly got to hang out with the coolest First Couple. During their time together, Biles and the ladies tried to show POTUS how to drop it low — well, as low as he could go.


Images via Instagram, AP, WENN and Shutterstock 

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