How Jade Carey Earned Spot on Team USA Gymnastics as She Moves in to Replace Simone Biles
Jade Carey, 21, secured her individual spot on USA Gymnastics' team with her performance during the World Cup series
Editor's note: This story was originally published in June. On Wednesday, U.S. gymnastics officials said Jade Carey would replace Simone Biles in the Olympic women's all-around final after Biles withdrew, citing her mental health.
The original story on Carey qualifying for Team USA is below.
USA Gymnastics is sending six athletes to compete at the Tokyo Olympics after Jade Carey announced her plans to accept her spot on the team as an individual event specialist.
In April, Carey earned her place at the Tokyo Games thanks to strong performances at four World Cup competitions starting in 2018.
She announced via social media on June 16 that she was set to take that individual spot once it was officially offered to her, rather than pursue a team spot. Prior to the 21-year-old's decision, the United States was faced with the possibility of competing at the Olympic Games with fewer gymnasts than the maximum number. Had Carey earned a team member position during the Olympic trials, the individual spot she secured could not be filled by another gymnast — and the U.S. would only be allowed to send five women to compete in Tokyo.
For previous Olympic Summer Games, gymnastics teams consisted of five members. The decision to reduce to four was made in 2015 by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) as a way to narrow the competitive gap for smaller countries.
In Tokyo, countries are able to compete with four team members and two individual spots.
"I'm really excited to be heading to St. Louis next week. 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 said in her announcement on Instagram. "My focus right now is preparing to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and being able to contribute to Team USA in any way possible. Thank you for your continued support."
Despite her decision, Carey was still expected to compete at the trials.
To learn more about all the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer on NBC.