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GWS celebrates Simone Biles with Debra Simon Award for excellence in mental wellbeing

08 Nov 2023
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has honoured legendary gymnast Simone Biles with the 2023 Debra Simon Award.

The annual accolade is given to an individual who has achieved excellence in the field of mental health and wellness and has been a leader, advocate or innovator in wellness programmes or pathways that help people thrive mentally.

A keynote speaker at the 2023 GWS, Biles is the most decorated gymnast in history with 32 Olympic and World Championship medals under her belt. In recent years, she has established herself as an ambassador of mental health and used her platform to champion the importance of prioritising mental wellbeing.

Biles’ association with the topic was highlighted following her decision to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics’ Women’s Individual All-Round Final to focus on her mental health.

Announced at the GWS in Miami, the award was introduced by Simon’s daughter and president of the Debra Simon Family Foundation, Lauren Wright, who paid tribute to her Mother.

Wright said: “It’s an honour to stand up here in my Mom’s memory and personally congratulate Simone. I thank you for being a trailblazer, and a pioneer and for making wellness a priority in your life and setting an example for others. I promise that my Mother is cheering you on."

Now in its 14th year, Biles was presented the award by Wright and Bill Kapp, MD, founder and CEO of Fountain Life.

Kapp added: “This award forges a path that inspires people to thrive. This year’s recipient is proof positive that passion, commitment and an innate understanding of what’s important can inspire the world.

“Tirelessly focused on achieving a level unparalleled in her field, this young woman made headlines and history when she prioritised her own mental health and wellbeing over her career. She did this with an honesty and grace that most people twice her age would not possess."

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