One of the under-focused aspects of Simone Biles’ trouble at the Tokyo Olympics was that her moment of vulnerability and mental strife happened far, far away from many of the people who are closest to her. One of those people is Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens, Biles’ boyfriend, who opened up about his feelings on the situation to reporters at Texans training camp on Thursday.
According to a report by the Houston Chronicle, Owens shared that he had been able to communicate with Biles while she was competing in Tokyo, and did his best to try and keep her positive and motivated while she dealt with the “twisties” in addition to other mental stresses that forced her to withdraw from several gymnastics competitions. Owens also stated that he had a sense of what was going on when Biles withdrew from team competition.
“I remember it was early in the morning, and my heart was really beating because I could see her face, and I kind of know her facial expressions,” Owens said. “I could kind of read her lips and know what was going on and what she was telling her coach. I kind of already knew what was going on beforehand, so I was just hoping she was going to get over it and be able to go out there and perform.
“I was sick to my stomach because she wasn’t able to go out there. I know her teammates really wanted her out there, but she made the best decision for herself, so I support whatever she does.”
After sitting out for an extended period of time, Biles returned and earned bronze in the balance beam final. That marked the seventh Olympic medal of her career.
As Biles prepares to return home to the United States, Owens is trying to make the Houston Texans’ 53-man roster after spending the past two years splitting time between the team’s active roster and practice squad. A former undrafted free agent out of Missouri Western, Owens has played in seven career NFL games, primarily as a special teamer.