Adria Biles is the younger sister of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles. Like her superstar sibling, Adria Biles also competed in gymnastics at an elite level. Adria is about two years younger than Simone.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Adria Biles Competed at the Junior Elite Level as a Teenager
Adria Biles got involved with gymnastics later than her older sister. According to Romper, Adria participated in her first competition when she was 9 years old. Simone had started in the sport when she was 6. As explained on her gym’s website, Simone visited a gym with her daycare center and “started copying other gymnasts in the back of the gym.” One of the coaches noticed her talent and encouraged her parents to sign her up for classes.
Adria Biles eventually followed Simone’s lead and, like her sister, had a lot of talent for the sport. The online magazine The Undefeated reported in 2016 that Adria was competing at the junior level.
She was competing at a Level 9 out of 10, as Simone Biles noted in an Instagram post from 2016 where she wrote, “good luck to my sister today competing at level 9 regionals! Sorry I can’t be there, but I’ll be cheering from here💗😚 love you sister.”
Adria reached level 9 in 2015, according to My Meet Scores. Based on her scores, it appears Adria’s best rotation was on the vault. The Dallas Morning News also reported in 2015 that Adria had reached level 9.
2. Adria Biles Is Several Inches Taller Than Simone But Says Fans Mistook Her for Simone During the 2016 Olympics
Adria and Simone Biles are nearly two years apart in age. Simone was born in March 1997 and Adria was born in January 1999. But some fans say the two girls look like they could be twins, as Bustle and Access pointed out in 2016.
But despite the height difference, Adria says she has often been mistaken for Simone. She explained to ESPN that during the 2016 Olympics in Rio, fans would get all excited to approach her because they thought she was Simone:
It’s been funny to watch her go from normal Simone to famous Simone. Even in Brazil, people came up to me every day thinking I was her. They’d ask for autographs and take pictures. And many times they didn’t speak English so I couldn’t explain that I wasn’t her. They’d just say, “Simone! Simone!” and finally I decided it was easier to just let them take a picture.
We do look alike, I’ll give them that. But I’m about 5-foot-2. Simone is 4-foot-8. I’m a good head taller than her. When we are side by side, people can definitely tell us apart.
3. Adria Was Only a Baby When She & Her Siblings Were Put in Foster Care
Simone Biles explained in her memoir “Courage to Soar” that her biological mother, Shanon Biles, struggled with alcohol and drugs. She said concerned neighbors contacted social services when Simone was three years old. In an excerpt published by Parade, Simone described eating cereal with water because there was no milk, and a stray cat being fed instead of the children.
Adria Biles and her three siblings, which included oldest sister Ashley and brother Tevin, were put into foster care in 2000. Adria was only about 1-year-old. But in a recent documentary for Facebook Watch, Adria said she recalls being very close with her older siblings, especially because they were all “so scared of what was going on.”
Their maternal grandfather, Ron Biles, initially took in all four children and brought them to Texas after learning they’d been put in foster care. (His wife, Nellie Biles, is Shanon Biles’ stepmother). But according to Simone’s autobiography, the siblings returned to Ohio after a few months because Ashley and Tevin wanted to be near Shanon and Ron Biles didn’t want the children to be separated from each other. But Shanon Biles never regained custody and they were put back in the foster care system.
When Simone was six and Adria was four, Ron and Nellie Biles formally adopted them. The two girls have referred to Ron and Nellie as Mom and Dad ever since. The Wall Street Journal reports Ashley and Tevin wanted to stay in Ohio. They were adopted by their great-aunt, who lived in Cleveland.
4. Adria Says Simone Has Always Been a Very Protective Big Sister
In a recent documentary for Facebook Watch, Adria Biles described Simone as being a very protective big sister and Simone agreed with that sentiment. Simone said, “I wanted to take care of Adria obviously because she was the baby. I just felt like I needed to look out for her because if family doesn’t look out for you, who’s going to?”
Nellie Biles added that Simone has always been “nurturing” and “motherly” toward Adria. She said they have a very close bond that has lasted for their entire lives.
Adria explained that when they were younger, she thought of Simone as “bossy.” But that now, she understands that Simone was trying to protect her. Adria also commented that she and Simone fought “all the time” as children, as sisters close in age are prone to do, but that Simone is her best friend.
In an op-ed for ESPN in 2016, Adria lavished her sister with praise:
Simone is as outgoing as she seems, and yes, she is always laughing. She’s also kind and humble, and I’m so proud to have her as my sister. I look up to her in every way.
5. Adria Biles Posted in 2020 That She Was in School for Dental Assisting
But in February 2020, she shared on Twitter that she was still in school. She tweeted, “school is so much fun when you’re doing what you’re interested in.” Someone asked her what she was doing and Adria responded, “I’m in a program right now for dental assisting then I want to do hygiene.”
As for gymnastics, Adria appears to have stopped competing after she graduated from high school. In April 2021, Simone shared a link to a Telegraph article that claimed, “when a pair of siblings both played the same sport professionally, the younger one was more successful.” Simone tagged Adria and wrote, “uh oh @adria_biles you better get back in the gym sister.” Adria replied, “nahh that’s all you sister” and “not the case in this case.”