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Megan Rapinoe, Simone Biles to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe, two of the country’s top athletes and trail blazers in women’s sports, will now receive the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States: the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The two sports stars are among the 17 individuals that will be presented with the honor on July 7, the White House announced Friday.

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

“Megan Rapinoe is an Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion. She also captains OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. She is a prominent advocate for gender pay equality, racial justice, and LGBTQI+ rights.”

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Biles has retweeted multiple articles about the news, while Rapinoe has not yet acknowledged the news on social media, but she will be shifting her schedule to accommodate. 

Steven Goff of the Washington Post reports that she will miss the USWNT’s second World Cup qualifier, a match against Jamaica in Mexico, next Thursday. She is the first soccer player to receive the honor.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, actor Denzel Washington, civil rights leader Fred Gray, and the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and senator John McCain are among the other citizens that will receive the honor next week.

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