Jade Carey To Return To Elite 

In the midst of preparing for her first NCAA Championships, the Oregon State freshman phenom and 2020 Olympic floor gold medalist Jade Carey announced her plan to continue training elite.

Carey shared the news on her Instagram, writing: “I am excited to announce that I will be pursuing elite gymnastics while remaining dedicated to my GymBeav family. I felt it was important for this announcement to come from me as I just accepted my invitation to national team camp.” 

Carey told Inside Gymnastics Paris 2024 “would be the goal but just taking it day by day right now.” 

Carey, who appeared on the Sept. 2020 cover of Inside Gymnastics, had an unorthodox elite gymnastics journey leading up to Tokyo. She made her elite debut as a senior in 2017 after being noticed as a level 10 by national team staff. Carey went on to become the U.S. National vault champion that year and just a few months later brought home two silver medals from the World Championships on her signature events—vault and floor. Although Carey’s elite journey began much later than most, she views that as a positive. 

“I did do things very differently but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Carey told Inside Gymnastics in February. “I feel like it helped me out to go into the elite world later because I didn’t get burned out as quickly.” 

With a silver on vault and team gold from the 2019 World Championships in her back pocket, Carey forged her own path to Tokyo. Instead of putting her fate in the hands of the selection committee, she clinched her spot to the Games as an individual athlete by winning the FIG World Cup series on vault. Carey of course went on to win the gold medal on floor in Tokyo, bouncing back from a disappointing mistake in the vault finals to make her biggest dream come true. 

“My dad told me on the morning of floor finals, ‘Yesterday may have felt like the worst day of your life, but we can make today the best.’ So I just really had to focus on the fact that I had one more chance,” Carey said. 

Carey has since been taking the NCAA gymnastics world by storm, winning both the Pac 12 Freshman of the Year and Pac 12 Gymnast of the Year honors after spending several weeks ranked No. 1 in the All-Around nationally and only going below 9.9 twice the entire regular season.

With a season high All-Around score (39.850) at the NCAA Regional Championships, Carey punched her ticket to Fort Worth to compete as an individual at the NCAA Championships. Carey slated to compete during semifinal 1 and rotate with Oklahoma. Once her college season concludes, Carey will look ahead to the U.S. Championships set for August in Tampa, Florida and the World Championships in October in Liverpool, England. 

Photos by Lloyd Smith for Inside Gymnastics & Oregon State Athletics 

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