Beaver Gym’s Jade Carey to represent USA at Tokyo Olympics

Jade Carey (right) poses for a photo at the US Olympic Team trials. Carey, a Team USA gymnast since 2017, earned a spot on the gymnastics team as a vault specialist and will enter the Olympics as one of two individual competitors. 

Thomas Salgado de Almeida Leme, Sports Contributor

Oregon State athletics will officially have a representative in the Tokyo Olympics taking place this summer, as gymnast Jade Carey, a Beaver signee, will be a member of the six-person Team USA for gymnastics.

The gymnastics team was officially announced on the night of Sunday, June 27, with Carey earning a spot as a vault specialist—meaning she will not be participating in the team gymnastics competition. 

Carey had technically already earned her spot before the June Olympic Trials even began through her performances in the Apparatus World Cup Series from 2018 to 2020. The Apparatus World Cup Series is a set of gymnastics competitions around the world, and the cumulative rankings of gymnasts who participated in them offers seven qualifying spots in the Olympics independent of the gymnast’s home country’s selection process. 

Carey had mathematically clinched her spot through the Apparatus World Cup Series in April of 2020 before all the competitions in the series had even concluded. This qualification was only as an event specialist, however, meaning that Carey will be performing individually and that her points will not go to the overall Team USA’s scoreboard. 

Carey could still qualify for the USA’s four-person team competing for the team medals—reduced from five-person teams in previous Olympics—through the Olympic Trials. However, that would have meant that the United States would send one less gymnast to Tokyo overall since Carey had already earned her spot separately. 

Thus, although Carey still participated in the trials, she stated beforehand that she fully intended on accepting the individual invitation she earned, thus giving an opportunity for one more American gymnast to go to Tokyo. 

At the conclusion of the trials, Carey officially accepted her individual invitation. The other individual gymnast that will represent the United States in Tokyo is MyKayla Skinner, while the gymnasts that will compete for the four-person team competition are Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum. 

Carey could still compete individually in the all-around and event finals depending on how she does in the qualifying rounds in Tokyo, she just won’t be able to participate in the team competition.

21-year-old Carey signed a letter of intent to compete at the NCAA level with Oregon State all the way back in 2017 but deferred on joining the program until after the 2020 Olympics. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meant that she had to defer an additional season to compete in the Olympics in 2021 instead, although she did enroll in classes at the university starting in 2020. 

In the meantime, though, Carey has been a part of Team USA since 2017 and has been a medalist in many other international competitions. This includes a gold medal in the 2019 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship with Team USA, along with a silver medal for vault in the same championship. 

In the 2017 World Artistic Gymnastics Championship, she won silver medals in both vault and floor exercise. She also won gold medals in the 2018 Pan-American championships for vault, floor exercise and team competitions. 

Beavers fans can thus look forward to watching one of their own compete in Tokyo in the gymnastics competitions from July 25 to August 3. 

After the Olympics conclude, Carey is expected to join the Beaver Gym program and compete for the team in the 2022 NCAA gymnastics season, meaning fans can watch an Olympian live at Gill Coliseum.