Denzel Washington and Simone Biles will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
U.S. President Joe Biden named the Oscar-winning actor and Olympic gymnast as two of the 17 individuals who will receive the medal, America’s highest civilian honor, on July 7th at the White House.
The medals honor those who “have made exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public or private endeavors,” according to a release.
Other honorees include late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, late Arizona politician John McCain, Olympic soccer star and LGBTQ+ rights activist Megan Rapinoe, and nurse Sandra Lindsay, the first person in the U.S. to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
“They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come,” reads a statement from the White House about the recipients.
Simone Biles’ fiancé Jonathan Owens expressed his support on Twitter after the announcement, writing, “Still in disbelief, I’m so proud of you baby.”