On Tuesday, July 27, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles stunned the world when she withdrew from the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo due to a mental health concern following her showing on the vault. Now, fellow USA gymnast — and individual competitor — Jade Carey will fill her spot on Team USA as their fourth teammate for the remainder of the competition.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics confirmed in a statement on Wednesday, July 28. “Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals. Jade Carey, who had the ninth highest score in qualifications, will participate in her place in the all-around.” Keep scrolling to learn about the new Team USA member.
Jade Has Been in Gymnastics Since Childhood
“I believe she was about 4 years old; her dad and I were watching TV, and all of a sudden, oop, there goes a cartwheel,” the Arizona native’s mother, Danielle Mitchell-Greenberg, revealed on the Today show in June 2021. “We looked at each other, and I said, ‘Did you teach her that?’ and he said, ‘No, did you?’ and I said, ‘No,’ and so I think we kind of knew at that point.”
However, it wasn’t until she was a teenager that Jade, 21, understood she could make her hobby her full-time job. “I feel like I didn’t really understand until I was a little bit older — probably, like, 15 or 16 — that this is something that I could really do,” she told Us Weekly in April.
In 2017, she began her senior career. At age 17, she was awarded the gold medal in vault and silver medal in floor exercise at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships that year.
Jade Has Competed With Her USA Teammates Before
The incoming Oregon State freshman won gold at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2019, which was her first as part of the American team. The group — which included current Team USA members Simone, Suni Lee, Grace McCallum and MyKayla Skinner — finished first in the all-around competition.
Jade May Have a Gymnastics Move Named After Her
Like Simone the GOAT before her, Jade is skilled enough to have a move named after her possibly — if she is able to complete it successfully in competition. The laid-out triple tumbling pass will be rated the most difficult skill in men’s and women’s gymnastics upon her completion. But this isn’t the first time the athlete, who is coached by father Brian Carey, has been vying for this type of honor. She had a vault skill named after her in the Junior Olympics code of points following her showing in 2016.
Jade’s Path to Tokyo Was Unconventional
Interestingly enough, the elite gymnast won her big by competing in the Apparatus World Cup Series, which consisted of eight meets that ran from November 2018 to March 2020. However, fans may have noticed that, until she stepped in to replace Simone, she wasn’t competing as part of Team USA and instead as an individual.
How did that happen? The International Gymnastics Federation cut the Olympic teams from five to four members in 2016 and subsequently introduced individual slots. The change allowed athletes to earn an Olympic bid without having to be chosen by their country’s selection committee. Though she could’ve tried for a spot on Team USA, Jade ultimately decided to compete as an individual.