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.”
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.”
As she performed her Viennese Waltz to the tunes of Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father” on Monday evening, the gymnast could be seen holding back tears.
At the wrap of her performance, she could be heard sniffling and crying as she shared a tearful embrace with her parents. Asked how she got through the emotional dance, Biles credited “muscle memory.”
Biles earned positive reviews from the judges and walked away with a 36/40.
“She’s just amazing,” her father told host Tom Bergeron. “She surprises me.”
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.
See the video on People.com.