HOUSTON — Simone Biles supporters have been flooding social media with words of love, encouragement and appreciation after she decided to not compete in the Olympic gymnastics team competition and individual all-around.
Among the throngs of fans cheering on the GOAT is someone especially close to her heart: her boyfriend Jonathan Owens.
“Your strength and courage is unmatched and you inspire me more and more everyday SB,” he shared on Instagram Thursday, adding that he’ll ride with her wherever she goes. “You know I’m always here for you baby.”
Owens has had to watch Biles from afar since loved ones aren’t allowed in the stands at the Tokyo Games. Still, he made sure the Olympian knew he was thinking of her.
“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,” he wrote.
Owens also shared on social media that something else will be waiting at home for Biles when she returns to Texas. Imo’s Pizza sent a big care package full of St. Louis-style pizza.
Biles’ boyfriend is from St. Louis and apparently clued her in to the “square beyond compare” while they were both in town for the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials. During the trials, Imo’s shared a photo of Biles smiling over a couple of boxes of pizza with a slice in her hand. After leaving St. Louis, she tweeted she was “already missing Imo’s.”
When Biles withdrew from the team competition to focus on her mental health earlier this week, fans started asking the St. Louis chain to send its famous thin-crust pizzas to her. It turns out, they were already on it.
“To everyone saying we should send @Simone_Biles pizzas, we did shortly after she left for Tokyo. We sent them to her and @jjowens_3 [Jonathan Owens], and they'll be waiting for her when she lands in Houston. :-)” Imo’s tweeted Tuesday.
Biles has expressed gratitude online for the support she has received from all corners of the globe.
“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 Wednesday night.
Biles hasn’t yet said if she will compete in next week’s individual events. She qualified for the finals on all four apparatuses, which is something she didn’t even do during her five-medal haul in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Games.