Simone Biles returned home to Houston from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Thursday, August 5, following a brief stop in New York to visit Times Square, shop, and appear live on NBC’s Today with her Olympic gymnastics teammates.
The 4-foot-8 powerhouse, who now boasts 32 combined Olympic (four gold) and World Championship medals, arrived at Bush Intercontinental with teammates including training partner Jordan Chiles.
As she exited the plane, Biles was surprised by her parents. When she made her way to baggage claim, a large crowd of fans, young and old, waved American flags and their homemade signs and loudly whooped and chanted “USA.”
Biles, in face mask and hoodie, gleefully hugged family and her French bulldogs Lilo and Rambo. “We wanna have some space,” Biles told ABC13 when asked about her current plans. “I'm so overwhelmed,” exclaimed Chiles.
Later, members of the World Championship Centre, Biles’ gymnastic training facility, surprised her at baggage claim.
Biles, often dubbed The GOAT (Greatest of All Time), was one of the 2020 Tokyo Games’ biggest draws. In an appearance with more twists and turns than her famous high-flying tumbling routines, she shocked fans around the world when she withdrew from several competition finals due to a severe case of the “twisties” and then came back to win a bronze medal on the balance beam.
Throughout the Games, Biles cheered on her teammates, including her WCC training mate and good friend Jordan Chiles. Each came home with a medal.
Now home (she resides in Spring), Biles will likely take some time and reflect. “I think I have to relish and take this Olympics in and kind of recognize what I’ve done with my career because after 2016, I didn’t get to do that,” she previously told Hoda Kotb of Today.
Fortunately for fans, Biles hasn’t ruled out a return to the Olympics in 2024.
Jacob Power contributed to this article.
CultureMap’s Jacob Power captured the moment Biles returned home to family and friends.
Biles is surprised by her father Ronnie.
A quick hug with mother Nellie.
Biles was handed a large bouquet of flowers.
Biles hugs her beloved dog.
A quick wave to the crowd.
Biles, Chiles, and Team USA teammates descend into baggage claim to the roar of a welcoming crowd.
Biles, her family, and teammates are carted off.
A quick pose for the media.
A massive crowd packed baggage claim.
Screaming for Simone.
Making her exit.
United staffers show their support.
Fans share the love.
The sign says it all.