All smiles for Biles! Simone gets a hero’s welcome in Texas after troubled Olympics as she enjoys PARADE from her turquoise Range Rover convertible – before reuniting with NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens

  • Biles, 24, who won a silver team medal and a bronze balance beam medal in Tokyo, flew home to Texas on Thursday, when she was celebrated by the local community with a sweet parade 
  • The gymnastics star drove down a street near her home in the back of her Tiffany-blue Range Rover convertible, sitting up on the seat so she could wave to fans 
  • Dozens of people gathered at the side of the road to hold up banners and signs celebrating the Olympian, who dropped out of five finals in Tokyo amid battles with her mental health 
  • Biles enjoyed a tearful reunion with her parents, Nellie and Ronald Biles, at the airport in Houston, and on Friday, she saw her 26-year-old boyfriend for the first time in weeks when she went to watch him train 
  • Owens has been vocal in his support of Biles throughout her Olympic rollercoaster, posting several social media tribute to the gymnast while completing pre-season training with the Houston Texans 
  • Find out the latest Tokyo Olympic news including schedule, medal table and results right here

Gymnast Simone Biles received a hero’s welcome as she arrived home in Texas after a troubled Olympics in Tokyo, which saw her forced to pull out of five event finals over struggles with her mental health. 

The 24-year-old had a very rocky road at this year’s Games, having gone into the competition expected to repeat, if not improve upon, the five-medal haul she brought home from Rio in 2016, however she left Japan with two medals in hand: a silver from the team final and a bronze on the balance beam. 

But despite the controversy that erupted on social media over her decision to withdraw from several events – which saw many praise the gymnast, while others accused her of ‘quitting’ and ‘abandoning’ her team – Biles put her troubles behind her as she returned home to Houston, where she was greeted by a parade of fans waiting to celebrate her achievements. 

After touching down in Houston, where she enjoyed a tearful reunion with her parents, Nellie and Ronald, Biles was driven home by her father in the back of her Tiffany-blue Range Rover convertible, from which she waved and smiled at the dozens of fans who gathered on the side of the road to catch a glimpse of the gymnast. 

Wearing a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, a white Olympics T-shirt, and a pair of black leggings, Biles looked every inch the A-lister as she beamed with delight while greeting her supporters, many of whom brandished banners and signs of support for the sporting star.  

Celebration: Gymnast Simone Biles was given a hero’s welcome on Thursday as she arrived home in Texas, where she was met with a parade thrown by her local supporters, who cheered her on as she drove by in her convertible Range Rover 

Support: The 24-year-old sat up on the back of a seat so that she could wave and blow kisses to the crowds of fans, many of whom held up signs and banners 

Sidekick: Biles was joined in the back of her car by her mother Nellie, who enjoyed a tearful reunion with her daughter at the airport in Houston just a few hours earlier 

Looking ahead: The gymnast’s time in Tokyo was something of a rollercoaster. She grappled with mental health issues during the Games that saw her pull out of five event finals

Pride: Biles wore a white Tokyo 2020 T-shirt for her return to Texas

Having weathered a difficult time in Tokyo, Biles looked thrilled to put everything behind her, grinning with joy as she made her way home, with dad Ron behind the wheel of her colorful car, while mom Nellie sat in the backseat beside her daughter.  

Shortly after arriving home, Biles took to social media to celebrate her arrival, posing a Boomerang video of herself looking comfortable and cozy while posing in a mirror inside her sprawling Texas mansion. 

Wearing a simple black crop top and leggings, Biles kept two reminders of her Olympian status, wearing a silver necklace with the Olympic rings, while also showing off the same design that she had tattooed on her arm after the 2016 Games in Rio. 

Although she had been away from home for several weeks, having arrived in Tokyo in mid-July in order to begin training with the other Team USA gymnasts, Biles didn’t wait long before hitting the road once again – this time in order to reunite with her NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens, who has been busy at pre-season training for the Houston Texans while his girlfriend competed in Tokyo. 

Biles shared several clips from the side of the field as she watched the football star train on her Instagram Stories, before posting a sweet video of the two together for the first time in several weeks. 

During his girlfriend’s time in Tokyo, Owens regularly voiced his support for her on social media, where he posted several gushing tributes to the gymnast – while also taking a thinly-veiled swipe at her critics by sharing a quote from baseball legend Babe Ruth about ‘the loudest boos coming from the cheapest seats’. 

Following her bronze medal win on the balance beam – which was the first final Biles competed in after making the shock decision to withdraw from the team event following a grave error on her first rotation – Owens expressed his ‘pride’ at seeing her back on the podium. 

‘Words can’t express how proud of you I am right now,’ Owens wrote, while sharing a picture of Biles beaming with pride after completing her beam routine inside the Ariake Gymnastics Center in Tokyo. 

He also vowed to stand by her ‘through whatever’ in a sweet post shared on his feed, where he wrote a lengthy message of support for his girlfriend alongside several pictures of them together. 

‘Imma ride with you through whatever baby,’ he wrote. ‘Your strength and courage is unmatched and you inspire me more and more everyday SB. 

‘You always gone be my champ baby and don’t you ever forget that, I love you so much and I can’t wait till you come home and I get to see that beautiful smile again. You know I’m always here for you baby.’ 

On Thursday, Biles said she was ‘delighted’ to be home in the US after her tumultuous appearance at the Olympics – having been surprised by her parents at the airport. 

Biles flew into Houston after traveling to New York from Tokyo in order to appear on the Today show, and she was welcomed at the airport by crowds of supporters and relatives, including her parents, Ronald and Nellie, and her best friend, Rachel. 

Biles shared images of herself embracing her mother and father at the airport on Instagram, revealing that their appearance in the terminal came as a welcome surprise. 

‘Houston, I’m home,’ she wrote, before thanking United Airlines, for which she serves as a spokesperson for ‘making sure I didn’t have to wait one more minute to see my family’. 

Carrying a bouquet of flowers, Biles spoke very briefly with local media, with Houston TV station KHOU-11 reporting that she spoke of a simple dietary request, saying: ‘We want to have some steaks.’ 

Together again: On Friday, Biles reunited with her NFL star boyfriend Jonathan Owens when she went to visit him at the Houston Texans’ pre-season training camp 

Cheerleader: Having spent much of the Tokyo Olympics supporting her team from the sidelines, Biles resumed her role as a spectator while watching her boyfriend train through heavy rain 

Beaming: The gymnast couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she reunited with Owens for the first time in weeks 

Home again: After her parade on Thursday, Biles shared a video of herself posing in a full-length mirror in her Texas mansion

The legendary gymnast’s best friend Rachel told the station: ‘Very, very emotional. Good to have her back.’ 

Ron, 71, and his wife Nellie, 66, are actually Biles’ grandparents, however they adopted the athlete and her sister Adria after they were taken away from their birth mother, Shanon, who suffered from drug and alcohol addiction and spent time in jail, leading to her children being placed in foster care when Biles was just three years old.

She was adopted by Nellie and Ron three years later and refers to them both as her ‘parents’.

After leaving the airport Biles headed to her nearby home town of Spring in a convertible, cheered on by numerous fans who lined the road holding placards of support.

Her homecoming followed her dramatic appearance at the Games, which was mired by withdrawals, psychological counselling and family tragedy.  

Biles had arrived with the expectation of equaling or even surpassing the historic four gold medals she won in Rio in 2016, however her quest for further Olympic glory was blighted by mental health struggles.

After a relatively underwhelming qualification process, the gymnast admitted that she was experiencing a mental block known as ‘the twisties’ – a phenomenon which temporarily affects an athlete’s spatial awareness and can result in serious injury. 

Daily medical evaluations and two sessions with Team USA sports psychologist led to Biles being withdrawn from her finals until she was eventually cleared for the balance beam, theoretically the least risky of the apparatus and one which can be performed with the minimum impact on spatial elements. 

Heartwarming: On Thursday afternoon, Biles enjoyed an emotional reunion with her parents, and was pictured embracing her father Ron, who surprised her at the airport  

Mother and child: Mom Nellie also pulled Biles in for a big hug as she arrived home in Houston  

She took a bronze medal in the beam, to go with her silver from the team competition. 

Biles also revealed her paternal aunt had died suddenly during the first week of the Games, with her coach, Cecile Landi, revealing during a press conference that the family tragedy had made an already-tough week ‘hell’.

Landi also said that Biles was planning to undergo therapy upon her arrival back in the US, revealing the gymnast had been ‘openly talking about it’ in Tokyo.  

As Biles and the other Team USA gymnasts touched down in America, it was revealed that she’d had to spend several days in Tokyo training in ‘secret’ in a facility located an hour outside of the city so that she could try and work through her mental health issues away from prying eyes.  

On Wednesday, the gymnast posted a touching tribute to the university that afforded her use of its training center, saying that she would be ‘forever thankful’ to the college and its staff. 

‘I’ll forever be thankful for Juntendo for allowing me to come train separately to try to get my skills back,’ she wrote, before adding of her experience in Tokyo: ‘The Japanese are some of, if not the sweetest people I’ve ever met.’

According to the Wall Street Journal, Juntendo professor Kazuhiro Aoki received a call from Biles’ trainers on Wednesday morning asking whether she would be able to use the university’s gym facility, which is located an hour outside of Tokyo. 

The US gymnastics star endured a difficult Olympics, but did win a medal in the beam final

She withdrew from multiple events due to her mental health, but did win the silver on beam

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Biles had spent several days secretly training in a facility located one hour outside of Tokyo, where she attempted to overcome her mental health issues 

Tribute: The 24-year-old gymnast praised Juntendo University on Twitter, thanking the college for allowing her to train in its gym, one hour outside of Tokyo, away from private eyes

The gym had already been used by Team USA upon their arrival in Japan, before they moved into the official Olympic facilities.

‘This is a complicated matter,’ Aoki was told over the phone. ‘But this is for Biles.’ 

He revealed to the publication that the gymnast began training in his gym just two hours after the call was made, explaining that staff locked all of the doors so that Biles could be sure nobody would see her struggling through her routines. 

‘She practiced for two hours that day,’ the WSJ reported. ‘Then she came back for three more days. Each time, Aoki said, she was accompanied by her coaches and a medical provider.’

According to the professor, who was able to catch a glimpse of the gymnast at work, Biles looked ‘like a totally different person’ to the gymnast he saw earlier in July, and he remarked that she ‘often got frozen’ while practicing her skills.

The call from Biles’ coaches came just 12 hours after the gymnast shocked the world by flubbing her team final vault, her first event in the competition, during which she balked in mid-air and ended up almost crashing down to the ground.  

Shortly after the shock error, Biles stunned spectators and teammates alike when she pulled out of the competition altogether, leaving the other three US gymnasts to carry on the final a man-down. 

Struggle: A professor from the university said he received a call from Biles’ coaches about using his facility less than 24 hours after she pulled out of the team final following a vault error 

Surprise: Biles stunned spectators when she fumbled on her vault – which is usually one of her strongest events – and she later revealed it was the result of the twisties

The gymnast – who won five medals in Rio in 2016 – sparked furious controversy with her decision, with some praising her for spotlighting the importance of mental health, while others accused her of ‘quitting’ and ‘abandoning’ her team. 

At the time, her future at the Olympics was very much up in the air, with USA Gymnastics revealing that she would be regularly evaluated by its psychologists and doctors to determine her fitness to compete in the other event finals she had qualified for: the all-around, floor exercise, uneven bars, vault, and beam.

One by one, she pulled out of the events – starting with the all-around, which her teammate Sunisa Lee went on to win in her absence.

One day after the final took place, Biles hit back at her critics, sharing a video of herself training her uneven bars routine, while revealing the impact that the ‘twisties’ had on her skills.

It is now believed that the video was shot inside the Juntendo University training facility where Biles started training while attempting to fight through her mental health issues.

In the Instagram video, Simone could be seen crashing to the ground while trying to perform her uneven bars dismount, which requires her to twist her body around in the air.

Speaking about the struggle with the issue in the caption of her videos, Biles hit out at those who criticized her decision to withdraw from both the finals, insisting that she did not ‘quit’, while noting that mental health is just as serious as physical health. 

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