Star-crossed gymnasts? Simone Biles is in the news for more than just her stellar showing at the Women's Gymnastics Individual All-Around qualifiers this weekend. After the Team USA gymnast posted a pic with Brazilian gymnast Arthur Nory Mariano, which she captioned, "My Brazilian boyfriend," rumors flew about a romance between the Rio Olympians.
Us Weekly caught up with Mariano, 22, after the Men's Gymnastics Team All-Around finals on Monday, August 8, to get the details on their relationship.
"We're just friends, like when we see each other in competition and we text each other," Mariano told Us, laughing, of his bond with Biles, 19. "[We met] in competition, at the World Championships in 2013."
The "boyfriend" label is just a joke, Biles explained. "We joke that we're like international boyfriend and girlfriend because we see each other at these international meets, so I think that's really cool," the three-time world champion told Us after the Women's Gymnastics qualifiers on Sunday, August 7. "International friendships are the best, and I think it's something you should cherish forever."
She noted, however, that they don't get to hang out much in Rio because of their busy schedules. "[I] might see him in the cafeteria, but other than that we don't get to see each other," she told Us.
Indeed, Mariano told Us that while he's cheering her on in her upcoming events, he has had to watch her performances thus far on TV.
They did share a moment prior to the Games, though. A few days before the Opening Ceremony, both Biles and Mariano shared a pic of themselves wrapped in a friendly embrace. Mariano captioned his, "My US girl."
As for her stateside love life? A May profile in the New Yorker made note of "a boy she was not calling her boyfriend, but whom she would kill if he started dating anyone else."
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