Who is Jade Carey, the US gymnast replacing Simone Biles at the Olympics?
Biles' status for the rest of the 2021 Olympics is in question. At the very least, she won't be defending her all-around gold medal from the 2016 Olympics.
Simone Biles will not compete in the Women’s Individual All-Around Final, meaning another gymnast will have to step up and take her place in Thursday’s event.
USA Gymnastics confirmed in a statement that Simone Biles has pulled out of Thursday’s event at the Tokyo Olympics “to focus on her mental health.” At the same time it was confirmed that Jade Carey will take her place.
Who is Jade Carey?
While no one athlete can be expected to match the recent dominance of Simone Biles, the reigning gold medal winner for the individual all-around and the favorite after Sunday’s qualifier, the U.S. will get to turn to another top-ranked competitor in the event: 21-year-old Jade Carey.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Carey, finished ninth overall in women's qualifying Monday. Her performance did not make the cut to move onto the second round where 24 athletes were selected, based on International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) rules limiting each country to two competitors. She posted the third-highest score for Team USA, behind Biles and Sunisa Lee.
After some speculation that she would forgo the automatic qualification to try for a spot on the U.S. team, which would allow her to compete in both individual and team events, she announced in June she would accept the individual spot.
This was part of a unique system implemented for the Tokyo Olympics that saw the size of gymnastics teams shrink from five to four, but allowed certain countries to win the right to bring up to two individual competitors to the Olympic Games.
Carey had virtually clinched one of the individual spots available to the United States heading into the U.S. gymnastics trials and qualifiers. As such, she chose not to compete for a team spot and performed in just six of the eight events at the U.S. Olympic qualifiers.
"I have every intention to accept the individual spot that I worked very hard to earn by competing in the Apparatus World Cup Series spanning from 2018-2020 when officially offered to me," Carey wrote on Instagram.
What has Jade Carey achieved in Gymnastics?
The U.S. was allowed to bring six gymnasts to Tokyo: the four-person team of Biles, Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, who won the silver medal in the team all-around on Tuesday, and MyKayla Skinner, who was picked by the U.S. gymnastics selection committee after the June trials.
While Carey couldn't compete in the team event, she still has an impressive resume that could lead to a podium finish. She earned a total of seven medals, six of which were golds at the World Championships between 2018 and 2020.
Her strengths are vault and floor exercise, for which she won two gold medals each at the Baku and Doha World Cups in 2019. Earlier this week, she qualified for both final events in the Olympics, posting the second-highest vault score, 15.166, and the third-highest score in floor, at 14.100.
Brian Carey, Jade's dad, is her coach, while her mother, Danielle Mitchell-Greenberg, a former gymnast, has been keeping in close touch with her daughter throughout the games.
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