Who Is Jade Carey, AKA the Olympic Gymnast Taking Simone Biles’s Spot in the All-Around Competition?
It’s been quite an interesting week for the USA Gymnastics team, especially for Simone Biles.
ICYMI: On Tuesday, Biles withdrew from the women's team gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics after a difficult turn on the vault. Following her exit, the 24-year-old gymnast sat on the sidelines and cheered on her teammates as Team USA took home silver medals.
Following the event, the gold medalist spoke out about the possibility of participating in the rest of the events. Biles told Hoda Kotb that she was unsure if she would return for Thursday’s all-around competition. “We're going to take it day by day, and we're just gonna see,” she revealed.
However, it seems like this is no longer up in the air, considering USA Gymnastics released a statement on Wednesday revealing that Biles will not compete in the all-around portion of the events. “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” part of the statement read. “We wholeheartedly support Simone's decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
This means another gymnast will have to step in and take her place in Thursday’s event. Turns out, the U.S. has tapped another top-ranked competitor for the event: Jade Carey. Keep reading for everything we know about the Olympian.
1. Who is Jade Carey?
Jade Carey is a 21-year-old gymnast from Phoenix, Arizona. Born on May 27, 2000 to Brian Carey and Danielle Mitchell-Greenberg, she picked up a love for the sport at a young age since her parents owned a gym throughout her childhood.
Carey officially signed on to Oregon State University back in 2017 but deferred enrollment to pursue the chance to head to Tokyo. And while she technically hasn’t begun attending school, she has been taking classes. “I’m sad I won’t be able to be up in Oregon this year, but I’ve been in touch with the coaches a lot, and they’ve been great helping me set a new plan,” Carey previously told Inside Gymnastics Magazine. “I’m going to start some classes so that I will have some classes done before I get there.”
It also may not come as a surprise that Carey is planning to join the OSU Gymnastics team for the 2022 season.
2. What has she accomplished in Gymnastics?
Unlike some of her teammates, Carey earned her spot at the Games in a very different way. She automatically secured a spot after winning gold in the vault (her favorite event) and floor competitions in the 2020 Melbourne World Cup and the 2019 Doha World Cup and Baku World Cup. In fact, she’s earned a total of seven medals at world championships over the last few years.
Carey, who finished ninth overall in women's qualifying Monday, didn’t initially make the 24-athlete all-around finals due to International Gymnastics Federation rules limiting each country to two competitors—Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee. But now with Biles out, she's got a spot.
3. She’s got a great relationship with the team
She’s got a close bond with the girls on her team, especially, Grace McCallum.
In October, Carey posted a sweet birthday tribute to the fellow gymnast and “bestie.” “Happy birthday to my bestie, roomie for life, and travel buddy!! I love you so much, grace miss you,” she captioned the post.
4. Her Mom is her biggest supporter
Jade’s mother, Danielle, has been cheering on her daughter from their hometown. Over the weekend, following her daughter’s qualification for two event finals, Danielle revealed that she spoke with her daughter and that she is incredibly proud.
"I talked to Jade after the competition and she said, 'I guess today was a good day to have the best day ever!'” Danielle told People in an exclusive. “The whole experience has just been amazing! I am so proud of her and her accomplishments on this wonderful journey! I was so excited about her going out and hitting all four routines in the biggest competition of her life!!”
She continued, “I was even more proud of her character, and the way she presented herself on the competition floor. The sacrifices she has made, her strong work ethic, her dedication to this difficult sport and her perseverance are all the qualities that helped shape her into the athlete she is today!" Danielle raved. “She did it!! She qualified for two event finals, and I couldn't be happier for her!”
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