Simone Biles on backlash over husband’s ‘the catch’ claim and emotions after 2020 Tokyo Olympics

During an appearance on Tuesday’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Biles shared how she "broke down" after online fans called for her to divorce her husband and how it felt to "fail" at the vault at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Simone Biles has shared her true feelings about some of her most highly publicized moments.

During an appearance on Tuesday’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Biles opened up about the backlash her husband, NFL player Jonathan Owens, sparked from her fans last year when he referred to himself as “the catch” in their relationship. 

While she admitted to initially finding the discourse amusing, Biles said her husband’s comments may have been misconstrued, and the negativity that followed eventually brought her to tears, People magazine reported.

Simone Biles
Simone Biles reacts after performing in the floor exercise at the U.S. Classic gymnastics competition in August 2023. On a podcast this week, Biles shared her true feelings about some of her most highly publicized moments. (Photo by Erin Hooley/AP)

“First of all, that interview had nothing to do with me,” Biles said of her husband’s conversation with “The Pivot” podcast, sharing that she believes people were upset Owens didn’t include her in the interview. “But he has to have his moments too, and I let him have it.”

“He never said I wasn’t a catch,” Biles continued. “He said he was a catch because he is. I’ve never met a man like him. A lot of people that meet him are like, oh my gosh. I want a man like that, like Jonathan.”

The Olympian said she “thought it was hilarious what people were saying — ‘Divorce him, divorce him,'” but then it started to hurt her feelings, and she “broke down” one night.

“That really hurt that they were talking about my husband like that,” Biles admitted, People reported. “Because for me, it’s like talk about me all you want, but don’t come for my family.”

Owens and Biles got married on April 22, 2023 at the Harris County Courthouse in Houston. They had a second wedding celebration with family and friends a few weeks later in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Also in Tuesday’s “Call Her Daddy” episode, Biles opened up about her mindset during her vault performance at the team event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she got the “twisties,” according to People. She shared that she knew she would “try to do a 2 and 1/2,” but didn’t know how many twists she would make.

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“Because I couldn’t twist anymore,” Biles told “Call Her Daddy” host Alex Cooper. “It’s just like your body, your brain opens up, you have no idea where you are. So I opened, landed like that … And I salute, and I want to run. If I could’ve gotten on a plane and flown home, I would’ve done it.”

The athlete said she knew she had messed up the vault immediately after landing, recalling how tough it was to face the crowds in Tokyo and at home afterward because she convinced herself “America hates me.”

“I thought I was going to be banned from America,” Biles shared. “[Because] that’s what they tell you: ‘Don’t come back if not gold. Gold or bust. Don’t come back.'”

She knew after the failed vault that it would take time to “get over” the twisties, something that couldn’t be done “overnight” due to a “disconnect” between her brain and body.

Biles withdrew from the Olympics and all-around competitions after the vault, stating that she needed to “focus on her mental health” at the time. She later returned to win the bronze medal in the balance beam final and silver in the team event.

A decorated gymnast with over 30 Olympic and World Championship medals combined, Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is preparing for a potential return to the Summer Olympics in Paris, according to People. Last year, she said that “so far, it’s heading in the right direction” as she continued to “work on myself.”