Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles has landed her first Vogue cover.
The record-breaking athlete, who became the most decorated gymnast in world championship history last year, appears on the cover of the magazine's August issue, Vogue announced in social media posts Thursday. Famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the image in February, according to the magazine.
Vogue said it first interviewed Biles in March, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 games for a year. In a follow-up interview in April, the 23-year-old told writer Abby Aguirre that she felt "torn and broken" about the move.
“Obviously, it was the right decision, but to have it finalized — in a way, you feel defeated because you’ve worked so hard,” Biles said. She has since started training for the competition, the magazine reported.
In another follow-up conversation, Biles weighed in on the recent Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
“We need justice for the Black community,” she told Aguirre in June. “With the peaceful protests, it’s the start of change, but it’s sad that it took all of this for people to listen. Racism and injustice have existed for years with the Black community.”
The article also addressed Biles' depression during the sex abuse trial of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
"I was very depressed," said Biles, who publicly announced in January 2018 that she had been a victim of Nassar's abuse. "At one point, I slept so much because, for me, it was the closest thing to death without harming myself. It was an escape from all of my thoughts, from the world, from what I was dealing with. It was a really dark time."
Additionally, Biles discussed her personal life, including her breakup with her boyfriend of three years, fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin Jr., in March.
"It's hard being young and having that long of a relationship and then ending it, but it was for the best," she told Vogue.
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