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Denzel Washington, Simone Biles to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Gymnastics legend Simone Biles is among 17 Presidential 
Medal of Honor Recipients Announced Friday. 
Gymnastics superstar Simone Biles and actor Denzel Washington are among the 17 people slated to be
given the nation's highest civilian honor next week.

President Joe Biden made the announcement Friday that the duo would be among those to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The award is presented to individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors.

"These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith," President Biden said in a statement revealing the selections.

He added, "They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come."

Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history, with a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. She is also a prominent advocate for athletes’ mental health and safety, children in the foster care system, and victims of sexual assault.

Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has won two Academy Awards, a Tony Award, two Golden Globes, and the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also served as National Spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for over 25 years.

Joining them on the list are US Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, and several posthumous honorees, including Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, and Dr. Julieta García — the first Hispanic woman to serve as a college president — amongst others.

The awards will be presented at the White House on July 7.

Click here for a complete list of the recipients. 

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