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Simone Biles competes on the balance beam during the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on August 19, 2018. (Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Heart and soul

Simone Biles’s choice of leotard sends a powerful message

August 21, 2018

Powerhouse gymnast Simone Biles took out her fifth all-round title at the U.S. Championships on Sunday, in an exemplary show of grit and grace. The 21-year old Olympian became the first woman in 24 years to be awarded a top score in every single event at a national championship — and she did it wearing a very special outfit.

Biles’s leotard, reportedly eight months in the planning, was a vibrant teal color — chosen because it signifies survival of sexual abuse. “[The colour] is for the survivors,” Biles told Associated Press. “I stand with all of them and I think it’s kind of special to unite (people).”

In January, Biles came forward as one of the victims of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, along with Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas. She revealed the abuse in a letter she shared to Twitter.

More than 150 women spoke in court against Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for seven charges, and up to 125 years for an additional three.

“I know that this horrific experience does not define me,” Biles wrote at the time. “I am much more than this. I am unique, smart, talented, motivated and passionate. I have promised myself that my story will be much greater than this and I promise all of you that I will never give up. I will compete with all of my heart and soul every time I step into the gym.”

The Go Teal campaign was begun by members of the student body at Michigan State University to support survivors of sexual assault and transform campus culture, and maintains a presence on FacebookTwitterand Instagram

Read the full story at Yahoo!


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