Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe will be presented with the highest civilian honor in the United States in July. Biles and Rapinoe will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom during an award ceremony at the White House on July 8.
President Joe Biden will present Biles and Rapinoe with the award. They are the only athletes receiving the award this time around. Other recipients include former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Steve Jobs and former U.S. Senator John McCain. Jobs and McCain's awards will be presented posthumously.
President Biden announces Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, including:
-Sister Simone Campbell
-Steve Jobs (posthumous)
-John McCain (posthumous)
-Richard Trumka (posthumous)
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) July 1, 2022
Rapinoe will become the first woman soccer player to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She and Biles are among just six female athletes or coaches to receive the award.
Other athletes have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Biles and Rapinoe join a growing list of athletes who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former President Donald Trump tabbed a handful of athletes and coaches for the honor during his presidency, including Bob Cousy, Lou Holtz, Mariano Rivera, Babe Ruth and Roger Staubach, among others.
The first Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients were selected by former President John F. Kennedy. Those awards were presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson following Kennedy's assassination. Kennedy's list included long-time Yale swimming coach Robert J.H. Kiphuth.