At 50, Simone Biles’ Mother, Fighting Health Issues, Follows Gymnastics Legend to Inspire Others: “Can Do Right Things”

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Every time Simone Biles recounts her upbringing and ongoing support in her gymnastics career, one name consistently arises in the discussion: Nellie Biles. From adopting her at 6 years old to the present day, loving mother Nellie has never faltered in providing unwavering support to her gymnast daughter, helping her move forward. Simone Biles deeply appreciates this support, stating, “It’s been a long journey, but their support means the world to me.” Despite recent news that Nellie is battling type-2 diabetes, she remains committed to continuing her positive work for aspiring gymnasts and others.

This time, she wants to move forward taking motivation from her daughter Simone Biles. In her interview with the Today website, Nellie disclosed a few things about it.

Since Simone’s early days in gymnastics, Nellie Biles has been a steadfast supporter. She witnessed her daughter’s struggles and battles against adversity to succeed as a 27-year-old Olympian. Throughout, Nellie fulfilled her role both as a parent and as a supportive spectator. Usually, Simone found her voice and inner strength by seeing her mother. However, now there’s a role reversal taking place. In her advocacy work, Nellie strives to match Simone’s dedication to her career, aiming to bring awareness to important issues. She wants to inspire people to make apt decisions in life by sharing her life story. Describing her newly given role in the conversation with the Today, Nellie Biles has expressed her choice as “I could inspire someone to say you can do the right things.”

The role of spokesperson has been given to her by Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company, and it’s a paid job. However, Nellie isn’t focused on that aspect. Instead, she aims to inspire people, just as she once motivated young Simone to overcome every obstacle. She witnessed the 7-time Olympic gymnast struggling with the ‘twisties’ and it was she who forbade Simone Biles from continuing with her routines during that period, advising her over the phone. With this experience, Nellie believes in her ability to achieve success in motivating others as the spokesperson for Eli Lilly. However, this isn’t the first time she has integrated the pharmaceutical industry with her positive influence in assisting others.

Simone Biles, Nellie and the evolution of WCC

Simone Biles’ gymnastics haven, the World Champions Centre (WCC), has made a lasting impact on aspiring gymnasts since its establishment in 2013 in Texas. However, to finalize the WCC project, Nellie Biles had to sell 14 nursing homes that she co-owned with eight partners. Reflecting on the experience, she describes it as “the most stupid thing” yet cherishes the journey it represented.

In its early days, the WCC had few trainees, consisting mainly of Simone Biles, her sister Adria, and five other gymnasts. However, the center experienced a significant increase in admissions in 2015 when Simone made headlines by winning two consecutive world all-around titles. During this period, Nellie didn’t hesitate to expand the facility, taking on the role of sole agent for planning construction and implementing suitable gymnastic arrangements. Amidst the challenges of such a monumental task, she often found motivation in simple truths.

 Admitting those facts, Nellie Biles once said, “They’re [the trainees in the WCC] not all going to go to the Olympics. But give everybody an opportunity to see where the chips fall. And right now, I think we’re doing a great job.” After all this time, the gymnastics facility can proudly claim to have nurtured talents like Zoe Miller, Jordan Chiles, Tiana Sumanasekera, and Joscelyn Roberson, in addition to honing Simone Biles’ skills. Now, once again, Nellie Biles is stepping forward to inspire others. Only time will tell the impact she continues to make.


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