Simone Biles was a shoo-in to make the U.S. women’s gymnastics roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but after her, the competition was wide open.
Jade Carey had all but locked up one of the individual spots. After that, the final three spots on the four-gymnast team and the two individual spots for USA women awarded via performances in world competitions was based almost entirely on the USA Olympic gymnastics trials this weekend.
The top two finishers in the USA Olympic qualifiers were guaranteed spots in the Olympics. The Nos. 3 and 4 spots on the team, as well as the non-Carey specialist spot, were decided by a committee that views empirical results.
After all that, the U.S. women’s gymnastics roster is now set. Here’s a look at who qualified to represent the United States in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Biles was always going to the Olympics. The 4-8 phenom represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics and came home with four gold medals. The 24-year-old hasn’t lost an all-around meet since 2013 and is widely regarded as the best gymnast in the world and the greatest of all time.
At the USA championships in St. Louis, Biles put up a score of 118.098, best among the gymnasts on hand, despite a Day 2 performance that saw her make some uncharacteristic mistakes, including falling off the balance beam. Biles made the team as an automatic qualifier, which wasn’t surprising in the least. She has virtually no weaknesses in her game.
Lee was expected to be one of the top contenders at the Olympic trials. The 18-year-old has been a star on the uneven bars during her career and has won a national title in the event. She also competed at the World Gymnastics Championships in 2019, winning a silver medal in the floor exercise routine and a bronze on the uneven bars as part of a gold-medal team.
The 5-0 Lee finished second at the U.S. Olympic team trials with a score of 115.832. Her best marks, 15.300 and 14.900, unsurprisingly came on the uneven bars. She, like Biles, automatically qualified. She will be heading to the Olympics for the first time.
Chiles is a close friend of Biles and, like Lee, will be heading to her first Olympics. Chiles was one of the best performers on Day 2 of the trials with strong performances in the vault and on the floor.
The 20-year-old, who was named after Michael Jordan, won gold at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships in the team competition, vault and floor. She also earned a bronze on the balance beam.
At this year’s trials, Chiles placed third with a score of 114.631. She wasn’t an automatic qualifier, but her all-around performance allowed her to clinch a committee-chosen spot with ease.
The competition for the fourth and final Team USA spot was fierce, but ultimately McCallum emerged as the preferred choice. She finished fourth in the Olympic trials with a mark of 112.564, three-tenths of a point better than fifth-place finisher MyKayla Skinner.
McCallum’s best event is the vault, and she recorded marks of 14.633 and 14.766 in two days of competition at the Olympic trials. The 18-year-old is a two-time gold medalist at the World Championships and she picked up five gold medals at the Pacific Rim and Pan American Championships in 2018.
Jade Carey (individual)
Gymnastics rosters have been reduced to four competitors this year, down from five for the last two Olympic Games. But teams were able to earn the right to add as many as two spots for individual gymnasts. These women will represent their country at the games, but their scores will not be included in the team competition.
Carey had virtually locked up an individual spot for the Olympics based on her performance in the Apparatus World Cup Series the past few years. She still needed to participate in the USA Gymnastics trials to officially secure her place. She was allowed to compete for a spot on the four-woman Olympic team as well.
In the end, the 21-year-old finished 16th among the participants at the trials with a mark of 80.065, but she didn’t participate in every event every day, which lowered her all-around score.
Carey therefore will be heading to Tokyo and representing the United States as an individual. She’s a world medalist in the vault and on the floor, so her biggest impact will likely come in one of those events.
MyKayla Skinner (individual)
Skinner was an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team and nearly made the four-woman team in 2021. She finished fifth at the trials with a mark of 112.264. Her vaulting numbers were better than McCallum’s (15.133 and 15.266), but McCallum was stronger on the bars and floor to give her an all-around edge.
Skinner, 24, is the oldest member of Team USA, edging Biles by a few months. She took home three gold medals in the World Championships of 2014, 2015 and 2019 and won gold at the NCAA Championships in 2017 (floor) and 2018 (vault) with Utah.