Serena Williams aces tribute to Simone Biles: “Wish I had her to look up to”

Serena Williams pens a tribute to American gymnast Simone Biles for the 2021 Time 100.

Serena Williams, Melbourne, 2021

Serena Williams has penned an elegant tribute to American gymnast Simona Biles to commemorate the 24-year-old’s inclusion on the prestigious 2021 Time 100.

The annual list, which celebrates the most influential people of the year from across the spectrum, recognises Biles for her ability to balance a brilliant athletics career while being leader and role model who expresses her views on mental health with heartfelt candor.

“Simone strikes the powerful balance between humility and confidence—she’s enthusiastic yet stoic, believing in her strength, trusting her body and embracing her greatness. With a total of 32 Olympic and world championship medals, Simone’s athletic achievements are seen once in a lifetime,” Williams wrote of the seven-time Olympic medal winner. “What she embodies truly reflects the endless potential of Black women. I wish I had her to look up to when I was younger and trying to realize my dreams.”

Williams went on to highlight what she called Biles’ “greatest work.”

“Simone’s greatest work, however, is what’s being done outside of the gym,” the 23-time major champion said. “She is using her mature voice and platform to share her personal journey of self-love, respect and acceptance—Simone is wise beyond her years. By living her truth so loudly and by championing mental health, she is setting new standards of beauty, strength and resilience, breaking down today’s image-obsessed stereotypes and encouraging others to do the same.

“Simone is a shining example of what success looks like when you let go of what the world thinks and gather your strength from yourself … from your soul.”

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