Ron and Nellie Biles
Ron and Nellie Biles, are the two of the most important people in Simone Biles’ life. The US Olympic gymnast, her two brothers and sister Adria were raised by their grandparents Ronald and Nellie Biles who adopted them after Simone’s parents Shannon and her husband were incapable of looking after her four young children due to drug addiction.
Simone Biles is one of four children born to Shannon Biles, whose parental rights were terminated due to her drug addiction, Simone and younger sister Adria who is also a gymnast were adopted by their grandfather Ron and his wife Nellie, who is not Simone’s grandmother. Nellie Biles recalled the transition wasn’t easy, but adopting her daughters was the best thing that could ever happen to her.
“It wasn’t an easy transition because they didn’t have any connection to me and I didn’t have any connection to them. It was a very trying time for me because they were not my children, they were related to Ron.
“I don’t think you could prepare yourself for something like that. Being a grandparent… that’s not something you can change. But then making a decision to adopt Simone and her sister…”
“Over time you take your barriers down and that goes both ways,” explained Nellie, who lives up to P&G’s slogan that ‘It takes someone strong, to make someone strong’ as part of the company’s “Thank You, Mom” Olympic campaign.
“Me taking my barriers down and the children taking their barriers down and before you know it there is unconditional love that’s there between both of us, or between myself and my husband, and Simone and her sister.
“That goes for her brothers too, they feel the same way. It’s not something you can plan, it just happens.
“Making a decision to adopt Simone and her sister … it was the best decision we made.”
For Nellie Biles, Simone is not her granddaughter, she is her daughter.
“I have no idea when it happened but it happened at some point when all the barriers came down. I would do anything for those girls. I would kill for those girls,” Nellie said.
“The best thing about being Simone’s mum is looking at your child who sets goals for themselves and works very hard towards their goals. And when you see the outcome, it’s great to be Simone’s mom, it’s a very, very proud feeling.
“The worst part of being Simone’s mom is that at times she is a very stubborn 19-year-old teenager that I could just kill at times,” she added as mother and daughter both dissolved into laughter.
Shannon Biles mother of Simone, Adria, and sons Ronald and Adam struggle with drug addiction and being a single mother, her children’s father abandoned her.
Child services would take her children from her when she messed up, sometimes the remained clean and her childrencame back to her, but then came the time when her children were taken for good from her life. Luckily for her, and her children they were adopted by family.
Ronald and Adam were adopted by an aunt, and Simone and Adria ages 6 and three at the time were adopted by maternal grandfather Ron Biles and his second wife Nellie. In the beginning Ron and Nellie were grandpa and grandmother for the girls, but after Nellie told them it was up to them if they would like to call them mom and dad, there was no turning back.
“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 recalled.
Belize native Nellie Biles worked as a nursing home and Ron air-traffic-control systems all over the country for the Federal Aviation Administration until 2010 when he retired.
Ron and Nellie Biles devoted themselves to the girls, they helped Simone along Aimee Boorman, a former competitive gymnast and one of the coaches at Bannon’s (the gym where Simone started training) when she needed psychological help to cope with the stress.
They have and continue to be Simone’s biggest supporters and loyal fans.
More photos below.