Simone Biles Went From Foster Care to the Olympics—Meet the Parents Who Raised Her
She may be the GOAT of gymnastics, but to Simone Biles‘ parents, she’s just their daughter. Simone’s mother, Nellie Ceytano Biles, and her father, Ronald Biles, aren’t her biological parents, but they’re her mom and dad nonetheless.
simone biles parents
Ronald is Simone’s maternal grandfather and Nellie is his wife, whom he married in 1977. Simone, who was born on March 14, 1997 in Columbus, Ohio, is the third of four siblings. Simone—as well as her siblings, Adria, Ashley and Tevin—were put into foster care when she was 2 or 3 due to their biological mother Shanon’s struggle with alcohol, according to USA Today. “We were really fortunate because we got to stay with our siblings, which most siblings get separated,” Simone told USA Today in 2021. “We had a good experience in foster care. So I can’t knock that.”
Simone and her siblings remained in foster care until she was 5 years old. In 2000, Ron and Nellie started temporarily caring for the siblings. Ron told USA Today that he and Nellie decided to foster the kids after a social worker continued to call him to let them know that the siblings were in foster care. Eventually, Ron asked if the kids were allowed to move to Houston to live with him, Nellie and their two sons, Ron Jr. and Adam. “We’re family,” Ron told USA Today. In 2003, Ron and Nellie adopted Simone and her younger sister, Adria. Ron’s sister and Shanon’s aunt, Harriet, adopted the two eldest children, Ashley and Tevin, who moved back to Ohio. “I was very, very blessed and fortunate,” Simone told USA Today. “I felt love, care. I was healthy. I was safe.”
Since her time in the foster care system, Simone has helped other foster kids. “I know exactly how it is, and I know exactly how you feel being a foster kid,” she said. “I can be a voice for them. I can help them, and I can tell them that they’re not alone and that it’s going to be OK. That you can also still be great in the world.”
Who is Simone Biles’ father, Ronald?
So who is Simone Biles’ father, Ronald Biles? Well, Ronald is biologically Simone’s grandfather. He’s the father of Simone’s biological mother, Shanon, and was the one who told Shanon to name her daughter Simone. He’s also her father and legal guardian after he adopted her with his wife, Nellie, in 2003. Before he retired, Ron worked in the Air Force, which is how he met Nellie, who went to college in San Antonio near where Ron worked. After his time in the military, Ron worked as an air traffic controller. Ron, who was a single father to Shanon at the time he met Nellie, married Nellie in 1977. The couple went on to have two sons together: Ron Jr. and Adam.
As for her biological father, Simone told USA Today that she never knew him and doesn’t have a close relationship with her biological mother either. “I’ve been so fortunate with everything that God has given me and all the tools of life,” she said. “So I never really cared to find out who my biological father was, or really gain a close relationship with my biological mom. Which I’m sure she probably wanted.” She continued, “But the cards that I was dealt, I just never felt a need to go back. Which is very different for a lot of (adopted) kids, because they feel kind of that void. But I never did.”
Simone also told USA Today that she likely wouldn’t be an Olympic gymnast if Ron and Nellie hadn’t adopted her. “I definitely wouldn’t have been in gymnastics,” she told the site, noting the time and financial investments the sport costs.
Who is Simone Biles’ mother, Nellie?
Simone Biles’ mother, Nellie (whose maiden name is Ceytano) is Ron’s wife. She met Ron when she was a nursing student at the University of the Incarnate World in San Antonio. After graduation, she worked as a nurse and co-owned a chain of 14 nursing homes in Texas. In a 2016 interview with Texas Monthly, Simone revealed that, when she and her sister were adopted, Nellie told her that they could continue to call them grandpa and grandma or mom and dad. “I went upstairs and tried practicing it in the mirror—‘Mom, Dad, Mom, Dad.’ Then I went downstairs, and she was in the kitchen. I looked up at her and I was like, ‘Mom?’ She said, ‘Yes!’” Simone said.
Simone Biles’ Adoption Story is Inspirational: “My Parents Saved Me”
To watch American Olympian Simone Biles move is to be amazed. To see her land the flips that she does looks like a glitch in the matrix, and she’s set to do the same at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Simone will be head over heels, spinning, seemingly destined to crash when suddenly, like a cat at the last moment, she reorients in a blink, landing smoothly on her feet. How does she do that? How is she so calm?
Simone Biles has seen way more turmoil off the mat than on it. Run through the foster care system by a struggling mother, Simone had to get serious from a young age. The ADHD-rattled youth’s ability to focus has made her the most decorated gymnast of all time.
She didn’t do it on her own. Her grandparents adopted young Biles and her sister, changing their lives forever. Who is Simone Biles, and who are her caring parents?
Simone Biles Career
Simone Biles ranks amongst the Michael Phelps of American Olympic athletes. She’s the most decorated American gymnast with a combined 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.
Alongside her Olympic team, dubbed “The Final Five,” Biles took gold in vault and floor and bronze on the balance beam in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She hasn’t slowed down since Rio de Janeiro, continuing to add to her ever-growing list of new moves named after her. Biles even competed on “Dancing with the Stars” but came in fourth place. It is seemingly the only world all-around title Biles can’t win.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is renowned for her strength. To survive a past like hers, she had to be strong.
Her difficult childhood notwithstanding, Biles is a sexual abuse survivor. She was assaulted by the infamous USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, one of many victims. Biles was given an Arthur Ashe Courage Award for coming forward and emotionally talking about the traumatic experience.
Biles turned professional in 2015, de-committing from UCLA gymnastics in the process. Biles now sports endorsements and sponsorships with Kellog’s, Hershey’s and formerly Nike. In May 2021, Biles announced she was leaving the Swoosh and joining fellow US Olympian Allyson Felix at Gap’s female-focused athletic-wear brand, Athleta.
Biles dated fellow gymnast Stacey Ervin Jr. for three years but is currently seeing Houston Texans’ safety Jonathan Owens. Owens has reportedly met the parents, and it’s a good fit.
Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is the worldwide leader in artistic gymnastics. She’s been on the cover of every major magazine, from Time’s Most Influential to ESPN The Magazine. ESPN has also awarded Biles several ESPYs. She’s won a Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the year three times, has won four Olympic gold medals and has penned an autobiography titled “Courage to Soar:
Courage is probably the best word to describe world champion Simone Biles. Due to a difficult upbringing, Biles had to be courageous from a young age.
Who is Simone Biles’ Biological Mother?
Simone Arianne Biles was born to Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997 but grew up in Spring, Texas. Both her biological mom and dad struggled with drug and alcohol addictions.
They were soon unable to care for their children. Along with Tevin, Ashley and Adria, young Simone was quickly swept into the foster care system in Colombus, Ohio. In her Facebook Watch series titled “Simone vs. Herself,” Biles describes going hungry, watching her foster family feed a stray cat instead. Biles was in and out of foster homes from the age of 3 to 6.
“Growing up, me and my siblings were so focused on food because we didn’t have a lot of food. 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?’” she said in the series.
All the children were adopted by a family. Older siblings Tevin and Ashley went to live with Shanon’s aunt, Harriett. Simone and her younger sister Adria were adopted by Shanon’s father Ronald Biles and his wife, Nellie Cayetano Biles.
With Ron watching the younger sisters and Ron’s sister caring for the older siblings, the Biles children were finally out of the system. After her adoption, Biles didn’t see her birth mother again for six years.
Nellie and Ron Biles met for the first time in San Antonio when he was with the Air Force. Ron was a single dad raising his only daughter, Shanon. Nellie married Ron, adopted Shanon and added two more sons, Ron Jr. and Adam. They were Simone’s uncles before Ron adopted the youngest Biles sisters. They soon became her brothers.
Nellie and Ron provided the stability Simone and her sister needed to thrive. Simone found she had an instinct for tumbling after an impromptu field trip to a gymnastics gym in elementary school. Her parents helped hone her instincts by giving her classes at Bannon’s Gymnastix in Houston, led by coach Aimee Boorman. Simone became so advanced that she had to choose between everyday life and a great one.
“My parents saved me,” she said, via Women’s Health magazine.“They’ve set huge examples of how to treat other people, and they’ve been there to support me since day one. There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough.”
Nellie said it was tough at first being an adoptive mom.
“I knew I had my own barriers because these were not my biological children. You do everything that’s nurturing, that’s mothering, but emotionally, you still have to be there 100%,” Nellie said on “Simone vs. Herself.”
When faced with the choice of becoming home-schooled to train more or continue going to public school, Biles was afraid of being alone. She eventually chose home-schooling, a decision that’s since worked out.
Biles’ maternal grandfather and step-grandmother, her adoptive parents, have supported her every step of the way, from her first tumble to the Olympic games. Despite her small stature, Biles stands tall among the greatest athletes and celebs of her generation.
Ron and Nellie Biles have a routine they perform while watching their daughter. Every time Simone nails it, they give each other a smooch. If NBC installs a kiss cam, I am sure they will be practically making out in the stands of the coronavirus pandemic-delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics when the U.S. gymnastics team takes the mat.
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Tevin Biles-Thomas: Simone Biles’ Brother Had Murder Charges Dropped
Tevin Biles-Thomas was acquitted of murder in June 2021 after a judge determined prosecutors did not present enough evidence to convict him of a triple murder New Years Eve in 2018. Thomas was set free just weeks before his sister, Simone Biles, took the world stage at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Biles-Thomas, 26, was in the U.S. Army infantry when he was arrested three years after joining the military and obtained the rank of specialist, according to The Washington Post. He had been deployed to Korea. Biles-Thomas was arrested at Fort Stewart, the base where he was stationed in Georgia at the time, the newspaper reported.
Biles-Thomas had been facing murder, voluntary manslaughter and felonious assault charges in the death of three men at a party in Ohio. The murders remain unsolved after a judge determined there was not enough evidence to hold Biles-Thomas responsible for the murders, which included testimony from people who said they identified the shooter based on clothing and did not see the face of the shooter, according to Cleveland.com. Those killed were Biles-Thomas’ cousin, Devaughn Gibson, 23, DelVaunte Johnson, 19, and Toshaun Banks, 21.
“Three people are dead, it’s horrible and it’s a tragedy,” Biles-Thomas’ attorney Joe Patituce told Cleveland.com after the acquittal. “We elect judges to make hard decisions, and she made a legally correct one.”