The Houston gymnast is among several people who will be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. We have the full list of nominees.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will present the country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, including actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with whom Biden served in the United States Senate.
Biden will also recognize Sandra Lindsay, the New York City nurse who curled up on live television in December 2020 to receive the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine injected into an arm in the United States, she announced Friday. White House.
Editor’s note: The video above is of Simone Biles ’return to spring after competing in the 2021 Summer Olympics.
RELATED: Simone Biles was named Athlete of the Year 2021 by Time magazine
Biden’s list of honors, which the White House first shared with The Associated Press, includes living and deceased honorees from the world of Hollywood, sports, politics, the military, academia, and the defense of civil rights and social justice.
The Democratic president will present the medals at the White House next week.
Biden himself is a medalist. President Barack Obama honored Biden’s public service as U.S. senator and vice president for a long time by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in January 2017, a week before he resigned.
The honorees who will receive Biden medals “have overcome significant obstacles to achieving impressive achievements in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted bravely to drive change in their communities and around the world.” world, as it paves the way for generations to come, ”the White House said.
Honor is reserved for people who have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant public or private social efforts, the White House said.
Biles is the most decorated American gymnast in history, winning 32 Olympic and world medals. She is an open advocate for issues that are very personal to her, such as the mental health of athletes, foster children, and victims of sexual assault.
Lindsay became an advocate for COVID-19 vaccines after receiving the first dose in the United States
McCain, who died of brain cancer in 2018, spent more than five years in captivity in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Navy. He later represented Arizona in both houses of Congress and was the Republican presidential candidate in 2008. Biden said McCain was a “dear friend” and “a hero.”
Washington is an Oscar-winning double actor, director and producer. He also has a Tony Award, two Golden Globes and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. He has long been a spokesman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
The other 13 medal winners are:
– Sister Simone Campbell. Campbell is a member of the Social Service Sister and former executive director of NETWRK, a Catholic social justice organization. She is an advocate of economic justice, reviewing the U.S. immigration system and health policy.
– Julieta García. A former president of the University of Texas at Brownsville, Garcia was the first Latino to become a college president, the White House said. She was named one of the best college presidents in the country by Time magazine.
– Gabrielle Giffords. A former member of the United States House in Arizona, the Democrat founded Giffords, an organization dedicated to ending armed violence. He was shot in the head in January 2011 during a constituent act in Tucson and was seriously injured.
– Fred Gray. Gray was one of the first black members of the Alabama Legislature after the Reconstruction. He was a prominent civil rights lawyer representing Rosa Parks, the NAACP and Martin Luther King Jr.
“Steve Jobs.” Jobs was the co-founder, CEO and president of Apple Inc. He died in 2011.
– Father Alexander Karloutsos. Karloutsos is the assistant to Archbishop Demetrios of America. The White House said Karloutsos has advised several U.S. presidents.
– Khizr Khan. An immigrant from Pakistan, the son of a Khan army officer, has died in Iraq. Khan gained national prominence and became a target of Donald Trump’s anger, after speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
– Diane Nash. A founding member of the Nonviolent Student Coordination Committee, Nash organized some of the most important civil rights campaigns of the 20th century and worked with King.
– Megan Rapinoe. The Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Football League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice and LGBTQI + rights who appeared at the Biden White House.
– Alan Simpson. The retired U.S. senator from Wyoming served with Biden and was a prominent advocate of campaign finance reform, responsible government, and marital equality.
– Richard Trumka. Trumka had been president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO for more than a decade at the time of his death in August 2021. He was a former president of United Mine Workers.
– Wilma Vaught. Brigadier General Vaught is one of the most decorated women in U.S. military history, breaking down gender barriers as she rose through the ranks. When Vaught retired in 1985, she was one of the seven generals of the Armed Forces.
– Raúl Yzaguirre. A civil rights defender, Yzaguirre was president and CEO of the National Race Council for 30 years. He was U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic under Obama.
Simone Biles receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom
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