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Simone Biles Named 'Athlete Of The Year' By TIME Magazine

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Simone Biles Named 'Athlete Of The Year' By TIME Magazine

Simone Biles has been named TIME magazine's 'Athlete Of The Year' and, rather unsurprisingly, her harshest critics aren't too happy.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist managed to collect a few bronzes in Tokyo before pulling out of the Games, citing mental health concerns.

Her withdrawal made headline news at the time, but overall Biles received resounding praise for being brave enough to come forward and address her "demons" as well as shine a spotlight on mental health and her past traumas.

As a result, she was named 'Athlete Of The Year' by the respected TIME magazine.

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But if you take a quick glance over at social media, you can see that the selection for the prestigious honour hasn't gone down too well with sports fans.

While most showed their support by calling it a "powerful" and "inspiring" move, others took aim - Piers Morgan being one of them.

When TIME magazine made the announcement, the outspoken media personality - who hasn't shied away from firing shots at Biles in the past - wasted no time in chiming in on the matter.

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"Ridiculous. We should celebrate winning in sport - not quitting," Morgan tweeted.

"'Athlete of the Year' for someone who quit on her team so they lost, then recovered in time to compete in her solo event a few days later? Pur-lease."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Right-wing website OutKick clearly shared the same thoughts as Morgan.

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"TIME named Simone Biles the 2021 Athlete of the Year. Why? Well because, to quote the outlet, she had 'confusion in her eyes' and was 'unsure of her whereabouts in midair'," writer Bobby Burack wrote.

"So much for elite performance.

"At the Olympics, Simone Biles should have done whatever was in her best interest. And she says she did. However, that does not make her the top athlete of 2021."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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But not everyone was onboard with slamming the selection.

A number of big-name athletes joined the chorus of fans on social media in heaping praise on TIME magazine and as well as Biles herself.

Colin Kaepernick told TIME: "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."

While gold medal-winning gymnast Suni Lee added: "What Simone did changed the way we view our well-being, 100%. It showed us that we are more than the sport, that we are human beings who also can have days that are hard. It really humanized us."

Featured Image Credit: TIME/PA

Topics: Simone Biles, Gymnastics, olympics, Australia

Max Sherry
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