Simone Biles has a ton of supporters cheering her on. From celebrities and her fellow Team U.S.A. gymnasts to her friends and family back in the States, when it comes to the 24-year-old gymnast, everyone is hoping for the best after her decision to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics team final and individual all-around competition events.
One of her proudest supporters is her boyfriend, NFL player Jonathan Owens. After Simone announced her decision to step away from the team final, Team U.S.A. ended up earning a silver medal. Excited for her teammates, Simone posted a photo featuring Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum. In the comments section, Jonathan showed his support, writing, “I’m so proud of y’all 🤞🏽❤️.”
While Simone and Jonathan made their relationship Instagram official in August 2020, their romance began months before in March. With the Summer Games officially postponed, the Olympic gold medalist had lots of unexpected free time and told Glamour she connected with him on the celebrity dating app Raya.
“He would say I slid into his DMs,” Simone told Wall Street Journal Magazine. “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.”
But the couple had a little bit of help from Simone’s younger sister, Adria. After several weeks of watching Simone and Jonathan Facetime, Adria grabbed her phone during a conversation and invited him to a family lake house trip. There, the future couple hit it off and the 25-year-old football star was soon being asked to join Sunday family dinners.
“We ended up hanging out right before the pandemic,” Jonathan told Texas Monthly. “It was one of the few times in her life where everything was just shut off and she couldn’t do anything. So we used it to get to know each other — really get to know each other. It created our bond and made it stronger.”
As it turns out, Jonathan had plenty to learn about Simone. “I didn’t know who she was. I just hadn’t heard of her, and when I told her that, that’s one of the things she liked,” he said to Texas Monthly.
Once he figured out who she was, he couldn’t help but be in awe of her talent like the rest of the world. “Her work ethic was really the first thing that caught my eye,” he said in Simone’s Facebook Watch docuseries Simone Vs Herself. “I never really watched gymnastics before I first started talking to her.”
Since they started dating, Jonathan has been nothing but supportive — and Simone is just as excited to be there for him. After playing football in high school, Jonathan continued at Missouri Western State University. In 2018, he began playing for the Arizona Cardinals and, a year later, joined the Houston Texans practice squad. In 2020, he officially signed with the Texans as a defensive back.
Speaking with People, Simone shared the silver lining of having so much downtime during quarantine, which included seeing Jonathan in action. “What’s been really exciting is being able to experience life with my family and friends,” she told the outlet. “Getting to go to my boyfriend’s [NFL] games. I told him that I’ve never been to so many games in a season in my life. Because usually, I’m so busy and all over the place.”
Now, more than a year later, the couple is still going strong. There’s no denying that the two admire each other’s athleticism and dedication to their sports. What’s more, even their French bulldogs get along.
“This was a match made in heaven,” he told Texas Monthly. “There’s no better person for me. She loves me.”
Simone echoed his words in an interview on the Today show with cohost Hoda Kotb. “He’s a real man. I just, I love him,” she gushed. “We have a great time together. Our personalities match right up. We have the same sense of humor. And he’s just great. He’s an athlete, too, so we really understand each other and I think that’s why our relationship has been seamless.”