There’s nothing like a mother-daughter bond. From accompanying the bride as she shops for her wedding dress to serving as a pivotal part of her support system throughout her engagement, the mother of the bride plays a very important role in the wedding. For Simone Biles, that’s certainly the case. Ahead of her 2023 nuptials to Jonathan Owens, the Olympic gold medalist opened up about her special relationship with her mother, Nellie.
On January 15, 2023, the gymnast made a surprise appearance at a mother-daughter cardio class at a Houston Athleta store and discussed how her mother has been involved in the wedding planning process. “She’s someone I can bounce things off of and has been letting me do my thing as I figure out what works for us,” Biles tells People. “We are so excited to celebrate with our close circle, and she’s a big part of that.
My mom gives me advice on everything.” The athlete also turns to her parents as a model of a healthy, loving relationship that influences her own union with her NFL player fiancé. “I look to both her and my dad as role models in many ways but also as examples of what a strong base of love and support looks like,” she says
Biles decided to join the class, which Houston’s Dance House Fitness founder Jenny Sanchez led, since it focused on encouraging mothers and daughters to exercise together. “I loved the idea because my mom has always been my rock, and the idea of a multigenerational community of women coming together for an experience that empowers them and gives them a fun way to move is incredible,” she shares. “I had to pop in for a surprise hello.”
The Olympic gymnast also wanted to stop by to motivate the next generation of gymnasts to achieve their dreams in any area of their lives. Not to mention, she’s a fan of Sanchez. “The energy in the room was great,” she reflects. “Everyone was having such a good time together. I’m glad I was able to join the fun and support Jenny, who is one of my favorite dance instructors in Houston.”
Seeing all of the mothers and daughters bonding during the exercise class made Biles feel nostalgic of her childhood. “My mom was there for me all those years, from school to the gym and everything in between,” she recalls. “She still does, and I couldn’t be more grateful for her support.”
The Olympic gold medalist and the Houston Texans safety first formed a connection in 2019 after Biles slid into Owens’ DMs. The following year, they confirmed their romance on Instagram. In February of 2022, the athletic duo announced their engagement after the NFL football player popped the question in a gazebo in Houston.
The gymnast has taken her followers along with her during various parts of the wedding planning process. In March of 2022, bridal fashion designer Galia Lahav revealed that Biles is going to sport a few looks she created. Then, in October of 2022, Biles shared a sneak peak of her wedding dress. “On bride duty,” she wrote alongside a photo of herself in a white mini feather dress in front of a rack of gowns.