Every year, Time Magazine names the 100 most influential people in the world, highlighting stars who are shaping the future of entertainment, sports, politics, business and more.
This year, the list has been sorted into six categories – icons, pioneers, titans, artists, leaders and innovators.
Four sportswomen made this year’s list – Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Allyson Felix and Sunisa Lee. GiveMeSport Women runs through each female athlete and what they have achieved this year.
Included under the "titans" category, the 24-year-old Biles made Time’s 100 most influential list for her actions both inside and outside of the gym.
With a combined total of 32 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is tied as the most decorated gymnast of all time.
She was expected to successfully defend her four Olympic titles at Tokyo 2020 this summer, but instead taught a lesson about the importance of prioritising mental health.
Suffering with a case of the "twisties", Biles withdrew from all but one artistic gymnastics event in Tokyo, returning to earn a bronze medal in the balance beam.
In a short essay for Time, tennis legend Serena Williams praised Biles for her courage.
"She is using her mature voice and platform to share her personal journey of self-love, respect and acceptance – Simone is wise beyond her years," Williams said.
"By living her truth so loudly and by championing mental health, she is setting new standards of beauty, strength and resilience, breaking down today’s image-obsessed stereotypes and encouraging others to do the same.
"Simone is a shining example of what success looks like when you let go of what the world thinks and gather your strength from yourself... from your soul."
When Biles spoke so openly about her mental health issues at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, she credited tennis star Naomi Osaka as her inspiration.
Osaka earned her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, establishing herself as one of the best talents in women’s tennis.
In June, the Japanese star declined to participate in her media duties at the French Open, before withdrawing from the tournament completely.
The 23-year-old revealed she had "suffered long bouts of depression" since winning the US Open in 2018 and claimed people often had "no regard for mental health" during press conferences.
Russell Wilson, who plays for NFL side Seattle Seahawks, discussed the importance of Osaka’s actions after she was included in the "icons" category on Time’s 100 most influential list.
"Naomi Osaka’s humility and dedication to others has been spectacular to watch," he said. "It’s incredibly meaningful that she has been able to talk honestly about struggling with her mental health and share with us her vulnerability.
"She’s been able to say to the world: 'Hey, listen, I’m going through something. Here’s my truth'."
Allyson Felix appeared in the "titans" category alongside Biles. The 35-year-old became the most decorated US Olympic track and field athlete at Tokyo 2020, after winning the 4x400 metre relay alongside Sydney McLaughlin, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu.
Felix is also a trailblazer off the track. The American and her sponsor Athleta joined forces with the Women’s Sport Foundation to create a child-care fund for athlete mothers.
"She’s thoughtful, generous and knows she has the responsibility of being a role model for girls and boys who look up to her," Michelle Kwan, a two-time Olympic medalist and a five-time world-champion figure skater, wrote in Time.
"I think Allyson sets an extraordinary example as a mother, as a woman and as an athlete. She has already paved the way in so many areas, including fighting for new maternity policies that will help the next generation of mothers and athletes.
"That will have a ripple effect that goes on forever."
After Biles withdrew from the majority of artistic gymnastics events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Sunisa Lee was propelled into the limelight.
The 18-year-old helped the US finish with a silver medal in the team event, before triumphing in the individual all-around and claiming a bronze on the uneven bars.
"As the first Hmong American Olympian, Suni has an impact that extends far beyond any border or sport—it signifies representation," Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic gymnastics medallist, wrote.
"This milestone has and will continue to inspire the Hmong community, but it also sends a simple yet powerful message to underrepresented people everywhere: Dream big because anything is possible."News Now - Sport News