Simone Biles gets candid about her difficult upbringing in a new episode of her Facebook Watch Series, Simone Vs. Herself.
In the episode titled, “Who Am I?” Biles recollects how her birth mother found it very difficult to care for her and her three siblings and was often left to find her own food.
“Growing up, me and my siblings were so focused on food because we didn’t have a lot of food,” she said. “I remember there was this cat around the house and I’d be so hungry. They would feed this cat and I’m like, ‘Where the heck is my food?’ “
According to Nellie Biles, Simone’s grandmother, Biles’ mother was unable to take care of her children due to drinking and drug problems. Biles and her siblings were removed from their home by social workers after neighbors showed concerns about the kids.
Biles commented, “I don’t remember a lot about foster care, but I definitely knew that we had been taken from our biological mom and then you just think you’re going to go back to her.”
Adding, “We were very fortunate that we actually got to stay with our siblings because a lot of the time you either get regrouped from home to home to home or you and your siblings get split up.”
Then when Biles was 6 years old, she and her sister were adopted by grandparents Nellie and Ron Biles while the others were adopted by an aunt.
The Olympic gymnast went on to add that being adopted by her grandparents gave her a second chance at life. “Being separated from my biological mom, being placed in foster care before I officially got adopted by my grandparents, it just set me up for a better route at life.”
“And I feel like I wouldn’t be where I am unless that turning point happened. I would still be Simone Biles, probably not Simone Biles that everybody else knows, the world knows. But I also believe everything happens for a reason and I’m forever grateful for that because I definitely got a second shot at life,” said Biles.
The U.S. gymnast also opened up about boyfriend Jonathan Owens. “We vibe on the same level, we have the same kind of humor. We’re both athletic, we’re both elite athletes so definitely get each other. It was like it was meant to be. Everybody loves him, even my family so that was nice,” commented Biles.
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