On Friday, the Olympic gold medalist, 26, reposted a clip from a new interview where she candidly discussed her experiences spending several years in foster care, along with her three siblings, when she was a child.
Tagging the post “foster child,” Biles wrote on her Instagram Story, “a conversation I had about a [topic] that is near & dear to my heart,” adding several heart hand emojis as she shared the clip of the interview
In the clip, Biles explained how she ended up in foster care and her connection with Friends of the Children, a nonprofit that provides mentorship for children in challenging circumstances, as she was recognized by CNN Heroes for her work with the organization.
“I actually was a foster kid, so I know some of those hardships that those kids go through,” Biles said. “When my siblings and I entered foster care, it was because our biological mom was struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. I was three years old.”
“I just remember, like, us as kids being so hungry and then I just remember this cat that would get fed and not like, quite us,” she continued in the clip. “And so we were taken and, thankfully, we actually got to stay in one foster home and we were all together … it was some of the best times ever. We were just so excited.”
During her time in foster care, Biles and her siblings Adria, Tevin and Ashley were visited by their grandparents, Ronald and Nellie Biles, CNN reported. After three years, Biles was then adopted at age 6 by her grandparents and discovered her passion for gymnastics soon after.
According to the outlet, Biles came across a gym during a school trip at the time.
“Having my parents and that support made me who I am today,” she said elsewhere in the interview, before discussing Friends of the Children and why she wanted to be involved. The athlete explained that the organization offers official mentors for more than 12 years for children in foster care. “It gives them love and support, because that’s what these kids need, so to have that one constant means the world to them,” she told CNN.
Biles and sister Adria, 24, were adopted by their grandparents. Their siblings Tevin and Ashley were adopted by Ronald’s sister and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.
Biles has previously spoken about being in foster care as a child, as well as being a motherly figure from a young age to younger sister Adria.
“I wanted to take care of Adria obviously because she was the baby,” Simone said on her Facebook Watch series, Simone vs. Herself. “I just felt like I needed to look out for her because if family doesn’t look out for you, who’s going to?”