Simone Biles Breaks Down While Talking About The Year She Was Adopted: 'My Parents Saved Me'

The Olympic gold medalist opens up about being adopted.

Char Adams Apr, 10, 2017

This article originally appeared on People. 

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles is taking a stroll — or should we say a Viennese waltz — down memory lane on Dancing with the Stars this week.

In an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming Most Memorable Year Week of the popular dance show, the 20-year-old sheds tears as she recalls one of the most significant years in her life: the year she was adopted.

“My parents saved me. They’ve set huge examples of how to treat other people and they’ve been there to support me since day one,” Biles says in the clip. “There’s nothing I could say to them to thank them enough. Even though there’s no right words maybe dance will say it for me.”

Biles opens up about being adopted in 2000, saying, “My biological mom was suffering from drug and alcohol abuse and she was in and out of jail. I never had mom to run to.”

She adds: “I do remember always being hungry and afraid.”

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The athlete, who was adopted by her grandparents when she was 6, recalled being placed in foster care at 3 years old.

“Whenever we had visits with my grandpa I was so excited,” Biles says. “That was the person I always wanted to see walk in.”

She previously opened up about the upcoming performance in an exclusive blog for PEOPLE.

“It means the world to me that I’m getting the chance to honor [my grandparents] with this dance,” she wrote. “I can’t say thank you enough to them, so hopefully this dance starts it off well. I think it will be a little bit sad but also exciting and I hope it inspires people.”

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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[BLANK_AUDIO] [SOUND] You're watching Essence Live, and I'm your host Dana Blair. So far it's been a pretty busy show. I've heard a lot from you. But it wouldn't be complete without our Black Magic Moment of the Week. Shout out to Simone Biles and the rest of the US Women's Gymnastics Team for shutting it down in Rio and winning the gold medal. With a nearly five point Point lead heading into the final rotation. Biles sealed the deal with her floor routine, and as of today the 4ft9 powerhouse is chasing a second gold medal in the women's individual all-round competition. Good luck, Simone. We hope you create some magical moments out there. Remember, you can watch Essence's original black girl magic documentaries at essence.com. /BlackGirlMagic. [BLANK_AUDIO]