Simone Biles is competing in her second Olympic Games, representing Team USA in Tokyo. The 24-year-old gymnast will be cheered on by her family, including her parents, Ron and Nellie Biles, who adopted her when she was young. Ron and Nellie are also Simone’s grandparents.
Simone’s biological parents are Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons. When Simone was younger, her mother struggled with addiction, and also had a few run-ins with the law, according to Radar Online. For these reasons, Shanon lost custody of her children.
Simone has three siblings, Adria, Ashley, and Tevin, and two half-siblings, Taron and Shania, that Shanon welcomed after Simone and her siblings were placed in foster care, according to the Daily Mail.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Simone’s Biological Parents Live in Ohio
Simone was born in Ohio to Shanon Biles and Kelvin Clemons, but her home life as a child was complicated. Shanon “struggled with drugs and alcohol, and her children were often removed from her care,” according to USA Today. Simone and her siblings were put into foster care for a couple of years before her grandfather, Ron Biles, made a legal request to have his grandchildren live with him.
That request was granted, and things seemed to be going well, until two years later when Shanon attempted to regain custody of her kids. The children were placed back into foster care as a sort of middle ground, but Shanon was unable to prove that she could be a fit parent. According to USA Today, her “parental rights” were terminated.
Once again, Ron and Nellie stepped up, this time filing to legally adopt Simone and her sister, Adria. The other two Biles siblings, Ashley and Tevin, were adopted by Ron’s sister.
In 2021, it’s unclear if Simone has a relationship with either of her biological parents, but it doesn’t seem that way. In 2016, Shanon told the Daily Mail, that she and her daughter were working to build a relationship. That same year, she told TMZ that she’d been sober since 2007.
Although not much is known about Simone Biles’ biological father, Shanon Biles told the Daily Mail that she still talks to him — and that he was watching Simone Biles compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics. “He knows that’s his daughter and he’s very proud of her,” Shanon Biles told the Daily Mail.
2. Simone’s Brother Tevin Biles-Thomas Was Charged With Murder in 2019 & Was Acquitted in 2021
Simone’s older brother, Tevin Biles-Thomas was arrested and charged with murder, voluntary manslaughter, and felonious assault back in 2019, according to The New York Times. The arrest and subsequent charges were in connection to the deaths of three men — Devaughn Gibson, 23, DelVaunte Johnson, 19, and Toshaun Banks, 21 — at a party in Cleveland, Ohio, that took place on New Year’s Eve. All three men were found shot to death.
At the time of his arrest, Biles-Thomas was in the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia, according to The Washington Post. Following his arrest, Simone took to Twitter to express her sadness.
Biles-Thomas was acquitted on the charges in June 2021 because of lack of evidence, according to UPI. “No physical evidence tied Biles-Thomas to the shooting and one witness who testified in the previous trial could not identify him as the shooter while another said he didn’t see Biles-Thomas shoot,” the site reported.
3. Simone’s Younger Sister Adria Is Also Into Gymnastics
Simone is particularly close to her sister, Adria, as the two were raised together by Ron and Nellie in Texas. Simone was born in March 1997 and Adria was born in January 1999, putting them close in age as well. Given this, it probably comes as no surprise to hear that Adria also took a liking to gymnastics, following in her older sister’s footsteps.
Although Adria never quite made it to the Olympic level, she is also very skilled at her craft. Back in 2016, Simone wished Adria luck as she was headed to competition. “Good [luck] to my sister today competing at level 9 regionals! Sorry I can’t be there, but I’ll be cheering from here,” Simone captioned an Instagram photo at the time.
Judging by her Instagram account, it doesn’t look like Adria does gymnastics anymore. The 22-year-old has a ton of pictures of her with her friends, hanging out, and attending various sporting events.
In February 2020, Adria tweeted that she was in a program to become a dental assistant and that her ultimate goal was to become a hygienist.
4. Simone’s Older Sister Ashley Was Arrested in Early July
Not much is known about Simone’s older sister, Ashley, and it’s unclear if the two have any kind of relationship these days. As previously stated, Ashley was adopted by her great aunt along with her brother, Tevin. She did, however, post about Simone back in April, calling her the “GOAT” in a Facebook post. Simone doesn’t appear to have any photos of Ashley on her social media accounts.
Based on a photo on her Facebook page, it appears as though Ashley has at least three children of her own. The father of some of her children, a man by the name of Scottie Pippen, appears to have died.
As previously reported by Heavy, Ashley has had a few run-ins with the law over the course of her adult life. Most recently, court documents show that she was arrested for violating probation, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while under suspension, leaving the scene of an accident on the highway, failing to yield at a stop sign, and assault, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Her court date is set for August 5, 2021.
5. Simone Was Raised in Texas by Her Grandparents, Ron & Nellie Biles
Simone was adopted by her grandparents when she was 6-years-old. According to NBC New York, Ron Biles is Simone’s biological mother’s father. His wife, Nellie, is not biologically related to Shanon or her children.
It was the same year that she was adopted — 2003 — that Simone fell in love with gymnastics. It all happened during a field trip to Bannon’s Gymnastix in Houston, Texas, when Simone found herself imitating the other athletes. Her apparent skills didn’t go unnoticed, and she was getting the attention of some of the coaches at the gym. Ron and Nellie were made aware of this, and were encouraged to sign Simone up for classes. And the rest? Well, Simone is still making history!
Ron and Nellie have been huge supporters of Simone over the course of her career. In 2017, while Simone was on “Dancing With the Stars,” she opened up about her experience being adopted by her grandparents.
“Growing up, my biological mom was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and she was in and out of jail. I never had mom to run to. I do remember always being hungry and afraid. At 3 years old, I was placed in foster care…Whenever we had visits with my grandpa, I was so excited. That was the person I always wanted to see walk in to the foster home,” she said.
“My parents saved me. 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,” she added.
READ NEXT: When Is Simone Biles on TV?