"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 Carey tells PEOPLE

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Jade Carey
Credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty

Jade Carey's quest for gold continues at the Tokyo Olympics.

During the women's preliminary round at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Sunday, the 21-year-old Arizona gymnast's routines were a bright spot amid the uncharacteristic errors that plagued the performances of Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum. (Carey is competing as an individual specialist instead of as part of the U.S. team)

At the end of the prelims, Carey recorded the second-highest vault score with 15.166 and the third-highest score in floor exercise with 14.100. In the next few days, she will be competing in the floor exercise and vault finals.

"I talked to Jade after the competition and she said, 'I guess today was a good day to have the best day ever!' " her mother Danielle Carey tells PEOPLE. Jade's loved ones, nearly 20-25 close friends and family, watched her Olympic debut at a viewing party in Gilbert.

"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!!" Danielle says.

"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!" the joyful parent raves.

"She did it!! She qualified for two event finals, and I couldn't be happier for her!" Danielle adds.

In addition to having the love and support from her family and friends in the States, Jade is the only gymnast on the women's team to have her father, who is her coach, with her in Tokyo. "The beginning of an experience of a lifetime," Jade shared on Instagram Monday, posting a photo of her and her dad hugging after she completed the uneven bars.

Jade Carey
Credit: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/Getty

Carey is headed to two event finals after narrowly missing out on the all-around finals.

The athlete got the ninth-best score with 56.265 to finish with the third-best U.S. score. However, a rule only allows two gymnasts from each nation in the finals. Because Jade finished third behind Simone Biles (57.731) and Sunisa Lee (57.166), she did not make the all-around finals.

Prior to the Olympic trials in June, Jade, a four-time world championship medalist with one gold and three silvers, earned her place at the Tokyo Games thanks to strong performances at four World Cup competitions starting in 2018. In a previous interview with PEOPLE, Jade said she was looking forward to competing in floor and vault events at the Olympics.

"Definitely vault and floor are my strongest events. I can put up a pretty good score on those two," said the star, who in June unveiled a triple-twisting double layout on floor, a skill no female gymnast has ever competed with.

The vault final is set for 1 a.m. PT on Sunday, Aug. 1, with the floor final scheduled for 1 a.m. PT on Monday, Aug. 2.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.