When you’re 4 feet 8 it’s easy to be mistaken for a child, apparently. But what if you’re the GOAT gymnast, Simone Biles? The seven-time Olympic medalist and 25-time World Championship medalist was mistaken for a child when she boarded a flight recently and was offered a coloring book by the flight attendant. Despite the mistake, Biles handled it well.
“Not the flight attendant trying to give me a coloring book when I board,” Biles posted on her Instagram story with a selfie. “I said, ‘No I’m good I’m 25.'”
i’m crying at the thought of a flight attendant giving simone biles the most decorated gymnast in history a coloring book because she is 4’8” pic.twitter.com/s03QHpUUH8
— matt (@mattxiv) July 9, 2022
Maybe Biles should’ve worn one of her gold medals? Or carried around the Wheaties cereal box with her picture on it? It’s actually pretty funny.
Biles has been enjoying life of late. She was recently in Washington, D.C., to to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Biden. This is the nation’s highest civilian honor, and Biles was among 17 honorees, including soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and legendary actor Denzel Washington.
On her Instagram Biles posted a photo of President Biden conferring the medal upon her with the caption:
“Medal of Freedom 🎖 I’m so honored & thankful to be recognized as a recipient by President Biden for this prestigious award. I still have no words. I’m shocked!”
Biles’ fiancé Jonathan Owens, who plays safety for the Houston Texans, joined her in Washington. The couple got engaged in February. A great start to 2022 after a difficult 2021.
At the end of 2021 Biles was named Time Magazine Athlete of the Year. The award raised some eyebrows as Biles bowed out of most of her events in the Tokyo Olympics that summer, citing mental health issues.
“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.”
Biles came forward in 2018 to reveal she was among the USA gymnastics team members that were sexually abused by USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Biles is in therapy to deal with the horrors of that situation.
“I just want a doctor to tell me when I’ll be over this,” she said. “You get surgery, it’s fixed. Why can’t someone just tell me in six months it’ll be over? This will probably be something I work through for 20 years. No matter how much I try to forget. It’s a work in progress.”
Stepping back and taking time for herself, given the stage and what she’s been through, was a tough decision and shows how strong Biles is.
Like tennis champion Naomi Osaka, fellow Olympian Michael Phelps and NBA champion Kevin Love, they have all spoken up about the need to take care of their mental health. The pressures world-class athletes experience are unlike anything else. Let alone dealing with the repercussions of sexual abuse by your sport’s governing body’s team doctor.
She’s a survivor, a mental health advocate, a champion, and the greatest of all time. Nobody deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom more than Simone Biles.