The 2020 Summer Olympics may still be two years away, but for competitive athletes, the pressure is already on. And Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles proved she’s up for the challenge: Last night, August 19th, she became the first female gymnast to win five all-around titles at the 2018 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
NBC Sports reports that Biles is the first non-teenager to win the all-around title since 1971. In addition to her record-breaking fifth title, Biles also took home the gold in all four individual events. She’s the first gymnast to win all four golds since Dominique Dawes in 1994. More impressive still? The 21-year-old took a 14-month break from training after the 2016 Olympics, and she just resumed competing three weeks ago.
According to teamusa.org, Biles defeated 2017 World All-Around Champion Morgan Hurd in only her second competition since her return to training. She finished 6.55 points ahead of Hurd—the widest margin of victory out of all five of her all-around titles.
Biles was rightfully proud of her accomplishments.
On top of her historic victory, Biles also made headlines for the symbolic outfit she wore. The gymnast told The New York Times that she had selected a teal leotard because it’s the color of sexual assault awareness. She wore teal to honor the victims of disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who, in January, was sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault. Biles has been an outspoken advocate for sexual assault survivors, even sharing how she, too, was abused by Nassar.
As Sports Illustrated notes, the community at Michigan State University—where Nassar used to work—has also used teal to stand with assault survivors. Students at the school started the Go Teal campaign in February to show their support, covering the campus in teal.
From her record-setting victory to her continued advocacy for sexual assault survivors, there are so many reasons to admire Biles. So many congrats, lady!