Simone Biles is arguably the most recognizable athlete in the world.
But the superstar gymnast’s boyfriend – Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens – says he had no idea who she was when they started dating.
During the third episode of his girlfriend’s Facebook Watch docuseries, “Simone vs Herself,” Owens details the early days of his relationship with Biles. And while he says he knew she was a gymnast, the NFL player acknowledges he wasn’t aware she was the gymnast.
“Her work ethic was really the first thing that caught my eye,” Owens said. “I never really watched gymnastics before I first started talking to her. When I met her, I honestly didn’t know who she was.”
“It was just like, ‘Oh, she has a lot of followers – she must be pretty good or something,'” he added. “That’s how I would tell people and they’d be like: ‘Simone Biles?! You for real, the gymnast?!’ And I’m like ‘Man, she’s good like that?!'”
Yeah, she’s good like that.
The 24-year-old – widely understood to be the greatest gymnast in the sport’s history – headlines the young squad. Since dominating the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to the tune of four gold medals and one bronze, Biles has pushed herself and the sport to new heights en route to becoming the most decorated gymnast – man or woman – in the history of world-championship gymnastics.
Now, as she enters the final elite gymnastics competition of her illustrious career at the Tokyo Games next month, Biles is primed to become the most accomplished Olympian of all time.
“The coolest thing for me is that I get to witness someone who is literally in the pinnacle of their sport,” Owens said. “It’s motivating to see that and the impact that she has on people. We were walking past this group of girls and they were shaking, ‘Oh my god, it’s Simone!'”
“This is when I kind of knew,” he added. “Like, OK, yeah, she’s the real deal.”
For Biles, having a partner who understands the intensity of her training and the importance of her routines has been helpful. Even her coaches have noticed that “she’s different” as a result of having happiness and support in her relationship with Owens.
“We vibe on the same level. We have the same kind of humor. We’re both athletic. We’re both elite athletes,” Biles said. “So we definitely get each other. It was like it was meant to be.”
“Everybody loves him, even my family,” she added.
Owens does, in fact, play professional football at the highest level. But after losing to Biles in a rope-climbing race, he concedes defeat to his girlfriend on the athleticism front.
“I thought I was athletic until I came and tried to do this,” he said. “And they said I couldn’t do the basic things, so I was like, ‘Aw, OK.'”
Check out the full episode of “Simone vs Herself,” which was first released Tuesday, below:
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