Simone Biles Named 2019 AP Female Athlete of the Year

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

STUTTGART, GERMANY - OCTOBER 13: Simone Biles of USA poses with her Medal haul after the Apparatus Finals on Day 10 of the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships at Hanns Martin Schleyer Hall  on October 13, 2019 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Simone Biles capped off a historic 2019 by being named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. 

Per the AP's Will Graves, Biles finished first in the voting ahead of United States women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe, American skier Mikaela Schiffrin and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne.

This marks the second time Biles has been honored as the AP Female Athlete of the Year. She previously took home the honor in 2016 after winning four gold medals at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. 

Biles made history in October when she became the most-decorated gymnast ever when she won a record-breaking 25th career medal at the Gymnastics World Championships.

Biles' rising stardom, which included video of her triple-double at the World Championships and a first pitch prior to Game 2 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros going viral, told Graves her profile is growing beyond the usual gymnastics fandom. 

"I'm starting to realize it's not just the gymternet anymore,'' Biles said. "It's an overall thing. It's weird to get that kind of attention, but at the end of the day, I feel gymnastics has been overlooked in non-Olympic years. Yeah, it puts pressure on me. But I'm not trying to think about all the attention from the outside world.''

It would be hard for any athlete to top what Biles was able to accomplish this year, but she will have an opportunity. The Ohio native figures to be in the running for the award next year as she heads to Tokyo with Team USA for the 2020 Olympics. 

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