“Tried Practicing It in the Mirror”: Simone Biles Felt Strange Calling Her Adoptive Parents’ ‘Mom and Dad’ at First, Revealed in 2016

Published 11/18/2022, 9:30 AM EST

Simone Biles, a seven-time Olympic medalist, is the first female gymnast in history to win three consecutive world championships. Starting at a very young age, she owes her success greatly to her parents, Ron and Nellie. Although they are her adoptive parents, they have demonstrated immense support in every walk of her life.

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Biles’ biological mother suffered drug abuse when she was little. The 6-year-old survived in foster care, and her maternal grandparents later adopted her and her sister. Adria. They made every effort to make them feel at home. In an interview in 2016, Biles opened up on her struggle to accept them as her parents.

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Ron and Nellie gave Simone Biles the space to embrace them as her parents

Biles is renowned as the most decorated gymnast ever. Her parents recognized her innate potential in gymnastics and joined her in a training center. Initially, when Biles came home from foster care, she called Ron and Nellie, grandpa and grandma. However, things changed soon.

One day, Nellie sat the sisters down and told them it was up to them. “If you want to, you can call us Mom and Dad,” Biles recalled. “I went upstairs and tried practicing it in the mirror—‘Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad.’” When she got comfortable, she went to her mom in the kitchen. “I looked up at her and I was like, ‘Mom?’ She said, ‘Yes!’ ” she recounted.

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Fair to say, Nellie’s “Yes” gave Biles a ray of hope in life. Her parents have played a crucial role in every walk of her life so far. When Simone’s long-time coach was planning to leave the gym, Ron and Nellie stepped forward to sell the chain of their nursing homes and build a gym to support her in her gymnastics goals.

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Simone had her tricks at home

The gymnastics legend shares a warm connection with her parents. Describing Biles, Nellie said, “She’s always been headstrong.” Speaking about Simone’s iron-willed temperament, she said, “When she makes up her mind, it’s, like, oh my gosh—the whole world could be upset and she’d still do it.” She continued that even though her other kids listened, Simone wouldn’t.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 23: Simone Biles of the USA looks to the crowd ahead of her performance on floor during the Superstars of Gymnastics at The O2 Arena on March 23, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Biles hated eating meat as a kid, but her parents insisted she consumes meat. One day when her father was cleaning the chairs at home, he found something funny and annoying. Realizing how she finished eating meat so fast, he said, “Look at all this stuff under here!” Simone would stash the cut-up pieces in her chair.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Simone Biles Drops Hints on Her Honeymoon Destination with Jonathan Owens

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Ramya Bachu

260 articles

Ramya Bachu is a US Sports author for Essentially Sports. Ramya has a Master’s degree in Psychology. She strongly believes in the power of discipline, consistency, and willingness to learn to achieve greater heights.

Edited By: Simar Singh Wadhwa

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