Women’s Gymnastics Team USA is Official

Image courtesy of NBC Sports

By Noelia Veras

The women’s gymnastics team has been officially selected after the Olympic Trials took place from June 24-27 in St. Louis, Missouri. The United States was tasked with picking four women to be on the team and two women to compete on an individual level at the Olympic Games. The team includes Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum while the individual spots went to MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey. 

Biles, a four-time Olympic medalist, topped the scoreboard with the highest overall score but seemed to be holding back on the last day of trials. On the uneven bars, Biles had a few small mistakes, and later in the night she fell off of the beam. However, despite these small mistakes Biles was impressive as always, easily gaining a spot on the team. Biles stood out on the floor, where she performed two of the moves named after her. 

Lee clinched the second place spot, gaining an automatic bid on the team. The 18-year-old gymnast scored a 14.733 on the beam both nights and did a stunning job on the uneven bars the final night. She has been in the spotlight for some time, especially after winning silver at the 2021 U.S. National Gymnastics Championships earlier in June, right behind Biles. Lee plans on continuing her career in Gymnastics at Auburn University.

Chiles, who has been training with Biles for the past couple of years, had excellent performances at the trials remaining confident and consistent  and on the last night gave an impressive beam routine with a stellar dismount. She did not gain an automatic bid on the team but the selection committee picked her after placing third behind Biles and Lee; Chiles and Lee were separated by just 1.201 points over the two days

“I’m in shock. I think I probably blacked out or something,” Chiles said after gaining a spot on Team USA.

McCallum was the fourth and final selection by the committee to be on the Olympic team. She placed fourth at the trials with an all-around score of 112.564, narrowly beating Skinner by three-tenths of a point.

Skinner was named an individual contestant for the Olympics after being an alternate at the last Olympic games. She had an emotional last night at trials after she completed her vault routines, shedding a few tears as she faced the audience with her head held high. This was an emotional night for the 24-year-old gymnast because this meet had the potential of being her last since she is nearing the end of her gymnastics career. Skinner is the oldest American gymnast to go to the Olympics since 2004, but is only 3 months older than Biles. 

Carey gained her individual spot prior to the trials in a unique way. In the spring of 2020, Carey competed at the International Gymnastics Federation individual apparatus World Cup in Melbourne and got a win for both the floor and vault. Champions of the Individual World Cup automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, so Carey’s win solidified her ability to go to Tokyo long before the Olympic Trials. Carey accepted her nomination prior to the trials so she had less pressure than all of the other women at that meet.

The women are now training for the Olympics together and getting ready to solidify their performances. The Olympics take place from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 8. To watch these gymnasts perform, tune in from July 24-29.

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