Up Next

Get Lifted

Simone Biles talks family and fate in new E:60 profile

ESPN’s latest E:60 profile explores Biles’ journey to the Olympics

Outside of being the four-time U.S. all-around champion, three-time world all-around champion, and breaking records as the only female gymnast in history to win the most gold medals in the World Championships, Simone Biles sees herself as nothing more than the average 19-year-old girl.

In ESPN’s latest E:60 segment, Biles can be seen hanging with friends and taking selfies, but also perfecting her gymnastic routines that the world knows her for.

What may not have been known is that Biles’ path to the Olympics – or gymnastics in general – may not have been possible if it weren’t for Biles’ grandparents, Ron and Nellie, who opened their homes and later adopted her and her sister, Adria, after child protective services removed them from the care of their biological mother.

“We just walked into a new family and I don’t think we really thought anything of it, but we just like knew it was family,” Biles said of the situation. “It was exciting and different to get used to it.”

Biles’ grandparents quickly became known to her as “Mom and Dad,” and were also quickly introduced to her elevated energy levels. The energetic Biles and her sister would bounce around the house constantly, and jump from bed to bed while in their room.

“I would just try to flip on the couch,” she said. “My dad would always tell us, ‘I can hear you jumping up there.’ ”

Watch more of Biles’ story in the E:60 clip below.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.