HOUSTON - Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and Houston Texans safety Jonathan Owens spoke with FOX 26 Sports Saturday about how Jonathan proposed to her on Valentine’s Day, about what the wedding ring means to Simone and Jonathan discusses how he managed to get the ring and set up their special moment while keeping all of it a secret plus what the two of them think about this becoming a worldwide story:
FOX 26 Sports Director Mark Berman: Simone, take us through the moment when Jonathan proposed to you.
Simone: "We got to the restaurant. There was a photographer there but granted it was Valentine’s Day. So you don’t really think anything of it and the photographer said ‘hey, I’m taking pictures for all of the couples for Valentine’s Day. Do you guys want a photo’ and we’re just like ‘yeah, sure.’ He said ‘I’m gonna have you guys stand here because the lighting is a little bit better.’ Then Jonathan grabbed my hand. I started shaking because I think wait, what If he proposes because in the back of your head when you’ve been with somebody you love and you talk about furthering your relationship, every one of those sentimental moments, you’re like hold on is this gonna be it? Is this gonna be it? (Jonathan is laughing on the other line). So I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I was kind of like wait he might propose right now, but I was like no, no, no, no, no. It’s okay. It’s just Valentine’s Day. We’re just taking a photo, but then after he said he loved me. ‘Will you marry me?’ Dropped down on one knee, I was shocked. In the video..we looked so awkward because that’s just us. It’s funny if you know us personally. Even though we compete in front of thousands that stuff is still so intimidating and nerve-racking. It was a really special moment and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Nobody was there, just the photographer and the videographer was hiding in the back and then came out, did photos, and did the dinner. I just really cherished that moment. We were the only ones that knew about it. We got to break the news and I think that’s just something that’s really special because a news outlet didn’t get to break it before us."
Jonathan: "It was an amazing feeling just because all of the little steps that you have to put together. You got to go meet this guy and do this here. I had to hide a mic in my shirt. Between her almost walking in on me putting it on, I was sweating, just kind of nerve-racking (Simone laughing on the other line) making sure everything works out, but it was a great feeling when it did. When we got to the restaurant I’m like ‘I’m okay. I’m good now.’ It was great. Everything went as planned."
We asked Simone to describe her feelings about the wedding ring Jonathan gave her.
Simone: "For me, I just feel on top of the world. It’s definitely now my most prized possession. I’m always making sure it looks good. It’s shiny every day. It’s protected. For me, it just means the commitment is gonna further our relationship. So I think that’s really exciting for both of us to start planning this wedding process. It’s definitely one of my favorite new items."
MB: Jonathan, how much fun was the decision-making process to get your ring, how you wanted it to look and at the same time keeping it a secret?
Jonathan: "It was definitely pretty nerve-racking, having to answer phone calls without her knowing. Trying not to be suspicious. It took a couple months, but I have a pretty good poker face. I made sure she didn’t have a clue. I wanted it to be a surprise for her. I didn’t want her to know that it was coming just because I love that. I always kind of do things like that with her..(Simone asked) ‘Did you like picking out the ring process?’ Oh yes, it was definitely pretty interesting, just learning about diamonds and everything, seeing the small aspects of the ring. It was a pretty interesting process."
MB: Both of you had your own definition for what it meant to be happy. How has that definition changed since the two of you developed your relationship and now you’re getting married?
Simone: "I feel like I’ve always tried to find happiness throughout sports, throughout my partnerships from whatever I’m doing. Granted I am very, very happy with that, but when you find your person, it’s a different level of happiness, and it’s like you want to see them every day, talk to them all the time. At the end of the day, even if you have a bad day or good day, your person always makes it better. I think that’s a new definition of happy, and I’m just like thankful that I have him to experience that with."
Jonathan: "For me, before I met her, my happiness primarily just came through football. I would go home and I was just kind of by myself. Once I met her our relationship evolved, my happiness started to come through her. Seeing her, being around her, once you start to grow along with a person what makes you happy, that definitely changes..I love her. She really makes me happy."
We also asked Jonathan and Simone what they thought about the worldwide attention their story received.
Simone: "For me, I’m kind of used to it, every time there’s a new step in my life, it’s been brought to the media. It kind of goes crazy, like break-the-internet type stuff. So we knew exactly, once we posted, that was gonna happen and it would cause a lot of media frenzy, but we got a lot of support throughout our whole entire relationship. So we’re just happy to have that continued support."
Jonathan: "Honestly, it feels good to have the support from everybody, feel the love from people, you know what I mean. It’s always gonna be there. I love the support everyone’s giving us. It feels good."
MB: What does it mean to have so many people around the world care about the two of you?
Simone: "For me, that’s really special because they don’t know the depth of our relationship, but they’re so supportive, both separately and together, and I think that’s really unique to have that support from all over the world. For me, it’s kind of exciting because we try to give as much of our relationship online to them and to have access to us. So for them to support us it feels like we’re letting them into our lives and to have that support is nice."
Jonathan: "It feels good, just to see people can see how we love each other and that warms their heart. You see people say it makes them cry to see us so happy. It feels good that they see the genuine love we have for one another."
Simone: "It feels good to be appreciated. The story of my life."
MB: Because you two are great athletes have you given much thought to the fact your kids could be as well?
Simone: "People tell us that almost daily about if we have kids they’ll be super athletic and I want to believe that, but you just never know. Because you have two athletic people, I think we’re very hopeful about that. We hear it on a daily basis. It’s nice to know people are rooting for our future kids."
Jonathan: "It would definitely be great. Whatever happens, happens. We’re just kind of living in the moment. It’s something in the distant future. We’re just living in the moment."
MB: What about the process of setting the date for the wedding?
Simone: "Definitely still a work in progress. I know our schedules are super busy. Then you have to take into consideration Jonathan’s season and if I decide to come back to gymnastics, because right now I’m on break. That will determine the date pretty heavily. So we’re still deciding. I think we have a gauge of when we want it to be, but we just have to make sure between his season starting, his camp and all of that stuff. That’s kind of on the back-burner right now, but we have an idea."
MB: Simone, since you referenced a decision about potentially continuing to compete, when do you think you will you make that decision:
Simone: "I think I’ll give it a couple of more months. My body is still not fully healed. I’m still doing a lot of stuff to kind of heal my body, my mind."
Simone and Jonathan offered messages to everyone who cares about their lives together going forward.
Simone: "I would say thank you for your love and support over the last couple of years, between us personally and our careers and throughout our relationship. We really appreciate it and we’re gonna try to be an open book as much as possible so that you guys really feel like you get to go through this entire process with us because you’ve been there from the beginning supporting us. We love you guys and thank you. We’re just super excited right now to start this journey together."
Jonathan: "Just appreciate all the support and love from everyone. It really means a lot, whether they think we see it or not, sometimes we do. We feel it and we appreciate everything."