Simone Biles has become an outspoken voice for change within USA Gymnastics

By Claudia Harmata and Karen Mizoguchi
March 14, 2020 06:30 PM
Advertisement
Alex Livesey/Getty

Simone Biles is not taking one birthday tribute lightly.

On Sunday, the Olympic gymnast celebrated her special day and received a shout-out from USA Gymnastics. “How about you amaze me and do the right thing… have an independent investigation,” Biles responded to the organization’s birthday message on Twitter.

Last year, Biles bravely stood up with her co-athletes to describe her abuse by convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar, who is serving a life sentence on charges of child pornography and sexual misconduct after more than 150 women and girls said he sexually abused them.

Since then Biles has become an outspoken voice for change within USA Gymnastics. But in January, USA Gymnastics offered Nassar’s victims, including Biles, a $215 million settlement as part of a plan to exit bankruptcy.

On Saturday, Biles marked her special day on Instagram, writing, “okuuuuurrr ready for my jordan year! 23🎉.” In the photo, the athlete posed against a brick wall in a peach blouse, jeans and black heels.

The athlete later shared a boomerang selfie video on her Instagram Story, as well as shared several of the posts her friends were uploading in honor of her birthday.

Friends, fans and family members also flooded her comments section with birthday wishes. Biles’ mom, Nellie Biles dropped a sweet note for her daughter.

“Happy Birthday to my eldest daughter. What a blessing to have had you and your sister in our lives,” she wrote in the comments. “May The Lord continue to guide and keep you. I love you 💕.”

Biles is prepping for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics — which officials have said will continue as normal despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak — and recently opened up to PEOPLE about whether she’ll perform a challenging new vault stunt.

“That would be no, unfortunately,” she said. “[The] risk vs. reward factor.”

Biles explained further, “In gymnastics, almost everything has been done so when you push boundaries there is a risk factor — risk vs reward. Gymnastics can be a dangerous sport so you have to be smart. I’m glad I have great coaches that guide me, help me be creative and push those boundaries.”