Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens showed support for his girlfriend, gymnast Simone Biles, in an emotional Instagram post on Thursday after Biles withdrew from events during the Tokyo Olympics. Biles, 24, has cited her mental health as the reason for first withdrawing from the team final and then the individual all-around competition. On Friday, the most accomplished American gymnast of all time also withdrew from the vault and uneven bars finals.
"Imma ride with you through whatever baby," Owens wrote on Instagram, alongside a gallery of photos with Biles. "Your strength and courage is unmatched and you inspire me more and more every day 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."
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Owens, 26, and Biles met after Biles slid into his DMs on social media. "I saw him and I was like, 'Oh, he's pretty cute,' so I said hi," Biles told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. "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."
Owens could not travel to Tokyo to cheer Biles from the stands, but he saw her compete for the first time in June. "What an amazing experience," he wrote on June 7. "First time getting to watch you compete in person and you didn't disappoint. It's so cool that I get to watch you do what you love, and be the best at that!! I'm so proud of you my Lil champ. Trials up next and you already know I'm there!! Love you baby."
Biles qualified for all individual finals at this year's Olympic Games. During the team final, she withdrew herself from the competition, citing mental health reasons, but the U.S. gymnasts still won silver behind the Russian Olympic Committee team. She later withdrew from the individual all-around competition, which fellow American Sunsia Lee won. On Friday, Biles said she experienced the "twisties" and withdrew from the vault and uneven bars.
Biles "will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam," Team USA Gymnastics said in a statement. MyKayla Skinner was chosen to compete in Biles place in the vault finals. "We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances," the statement read.
On Wednesday, Biles thanked her fans for their support. "The outpouring love & support I've received has made me realize I'm more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before," she tweeted. Biles is the most decorated American gymnast of all time, earning four gold medals during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and 18 gold medals during world championships.