A match made in world-class athlete heaven! Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens‘ relationship began during the coronavirus pandemic, but they’ve still managed to squeeze in tons of adventures together.
The Olympic gold medalist and Houston Texans safety met via the dating app Raya in March 2020. “I didn’t know who she was,” the NFL player told Texas Monthly in June 2021. “I just hadn’t heard of her, and when I told her that, that’s one of the things she liked.”
Though the pandemic caused the 2020 Olympics to get pushed back a year, the break in Biles’ training schedule allowed the pair to get closer. “It was one of the few times in her life where everything was just shut off and she couldn’t do anything,” Owens explained. “So we used it to get to know each other — really get to know each other. It created our bond and made it stronger. Now I’m so thankful.”
The gymnast is seemingly as fearless when it comes to dating as she is on the mat. “He would say I slid into his DMs,” she told the Wall Street Journal in July 2021. “I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s pretty cute,’ so I said hi. And then I saw that he was in the Houston area, so we started chatting a little bit, and then we went to hang out a week or two later.”
Because of COVID-19 protocols at the postponed Olympics, Owens wasn’t able to accompany Biles to Tokyo, but he offered his support from afar. After the Texas native withdrew from the team’s all-around finals and individual all-around competition, her boyfriend sent her his love via Instagram.
“Imma ride with you through whatever baby,” he wrote in July 2021. “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.”
In response, Biles replied, “I love you so much.” She later withdrew from the vault and floor exercise finals, but returned for balance beam and took home the bronze medal.
“Not at all how I imagined or dreamed my second Olympics would go but blessed to represent the USA,” she wrote via Instagram in August 2021 after winning her seventh Olympic medal. “I’ll forever cherish this unique Olympic experience. Thanks everyone for the endless love and support. I’m truly grateful.”
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Keep scrolling for a complete timeline of Biles and Owens’ relationship: