NBC Olympic announcer Al Trautwig controversially commenting about Simone Biles's adoptive parents over the weekend inadvertently shed light about the obstacles that the superstar gymnast had growing up.
Biles and her younger sister were adopted by her grandparents in 2000, when her biological mother, Shannon Biles, was battling a drug and alcohol addiction.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail Online, Shannon says despite her not being there for the 19-year-old the way she wanted to, that it hasn't taken away from the thrill of watching Simone make history during these 2016 Olympics, including her first gold medal win Tuesday.
Furthermore, Shannon is waiting for the right time to tell her daughter her whole story and what led to her giving her up for adoption.
"When I talk to Simone, it’s a brief conversation, like, 'I miss you, I love you, I can’t wait to see you, I’m proud of you, I’m watching. You go girl,'" Shannon told the Daily Mail Online. ‘It’s never anything personal. I want to tell her what really happened when I was younger but I keep on waiting for the right time."
She added: "My dad and his wife, they don’t let me talk about it. And I want to keep that respect. I don’t want to overstep my boundaries with my dad because I appreciate everything he has done."
That being said, Shannon says her father and Simone's grandfather, Ron Biles, became a different person when she signed those adoption papers years ago.
"When we signed the [adoption] papers, it was like my dad flipped a switch on me — no communication, don't call and don't visit," Shannon continued. "That's how it was at the beginning. It took me six years before I saw my children again. I was respecting my dad to let the kids transition. He felt that was the best thing for them. It was hard to give up my kids, but I had to do what I had to do. I wasn't able to care for them."
Lots to unpack here. We hope that Simone and her mom could get to a better place in the near future.
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(Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)