Gymnast Simone Biles, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and soccer star Megan Rapinoe were among the public figures in attendance at the White House to obtain a Presidential Medal of Flexibility from President Biden Thursday.
Past week, the White Home issued a push launch that announced the 17 recipients who would be offered with the “nation’s optimum civilian honor.”
The honorees were selected for making “exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, environment peace, or other major societal, community or personal endeavors,” the press launch examine.
The full listing also provided advocate Sister Simone Campbell, Julieta García, who was the previous president of The College of Texas at Brownsville and first Hispanic girl to be named a faculty president, and Fred Grey, just one of the 1st Black users of the Alabama Point out legislature given that the Reconstruction period.
Previous senator and war veteran John McCain and Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs were two of 3 posthumous honorees who have been acknowledged at the ceremony. Cindy McCain teared up as she approved the medal on behalf of her late husband, who died in 2018 from mind most cancers. Laurene Powell, who was married to Employment from 1991 right until his death from pancreatic most cancers in 2011, was in attendance to receive his medal.
Former congresswoman Giffords smiled and posed with a hand on her hip as she was honored for her political profession and her perform with gun violence avoidance. Giffords served in the House of Reps symbolizing Arizona from 2006 to 2012. She still left office environment a 12 months right after being shot in the head at an party in her home condition and co-established a non-gain corporation that supports gun basic safety.
Ahead of the prestigious function commenced, Rapinoe shared a near-up of her outfit on her Instagram story. A flower and the initials “BG” had been etched into her lapel to demonstrate support for WNBA star Brittney Griner, who carries on to be imprisoned in Russia soon after pleading responsible to drug prices. In addition to remaining an Olympic gold medalist and a Women’s Planet Cup champion, Rapinoe is also an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, gender spend equality and racial justice.
Biles beamed with enjoyment as Biden positioned the medal all around her neck all through the ceremony. The 4-time Olympic gold medalist employs her to system to raise recognition about psychological wellness and sexual assault.
“I’m so honored & thankful to be acknowledged as a recipient by President Biden for this prestigious award,” the 25-year-aged superstar athlete wrote on Instagram next to a photograph of her with the president. “I even now have no words. I’m shocked!
Her fiancé, NFL player Jonathan Owens, cheered on Biles at the event and ongoing to celebrate her achievement on social media with an Instagram publish of the couple posing with each other at the White Residence, and pointing out that Biles is the youngest particular person to ever acquire the honor.
“You’re one particular of the strongest men and women (I) know and are so deserving, I’m so blessed to be in a position to encounter this with you,” he gushed.
Structure Literacy and Countrywide Unity Heart Founder Khizr Khan, Father Alexander Karloutsos, nurse Sandra Lindsay, founding member of the Scholar Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Diane Nash, former senator Alan Simpson, late president of the United Mine Employees Richard Trumka, Brigadier Standard Wilma Vaught and Raúl Yzaguirre ended up also bestowed with medals.
Even though Denzel Washington was named as a recipient, he was not in attendance. Today verified that Washington experienced to pass up the celebration after testing constructive for COVID-19