Simone Biles’ status for the rest of the 2021 Olympics is in question. She withdrew from the women’s gymnastics team final on Tuesday, and at the very least, she won’t be defending her all-around gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
USA Gymnastics confirmed in a statement on Wednesday morning that Biles won’t be participating in Thursday’s all-around final.
“After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics Games, in order to focus on her mental health,” the governing body wrote. “Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual event finals.”
USA Gymnastics also added: “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Team USA will now have another gymnast compete in Biles’ place. The country had five of its six gymnasts qualify among the top 24 for the all-around, but because of the “two per country” rule, only Biles and Suni Lee were selected to participate.
Who will replace Simone Biles?
Jade Carey, a 21-year-old Oregon State commit from Phoenix, is set to replace Biles in the all-around competition. This is her first appearance at the Olympics but she has six Apparatus World Cup gold medals to her name. She is coached by her father, Brian Carey.
Carey posted the ninth-highest score at qualifying with a mark of 56.265 but didn’t qualify because Biles (highest score) and Lee (third-highest score) finished ahead of her. She placed just ahead of MyKayla Skinner (55.398, 11th place) and Grace McCallum (55.165, 13th place) to earn the right to represent Team USA in Biles’ stead.
Jade Carey’s performance at Olympic qualifying
Carey posted three top-20 finishes in the four events at Olympic qualifying. Here’s how she performed on each apparatus.
Carey easily qualified for the individual event finals on the floor and on the vault. It was no surprise to see her do that.
“Definitely vault and floor are my strongest events,” Carey said to “People” Magazine before the Olympics. “I can put up a pretty good score on those two.”
Certainly, she did in qualfiying. Now, she’ll hope that those two events can help bolster her all-around score as she looks to compete for a gold medal.
Why wasn’t Jade Carey in the team gymnastics competition?
Carey wasn’t chosen for the four-women Team USA. She made it to the Olympics as an individual competitor.
This was part of a unique system implemented for the Tokyo Olympics that saw the size of gymnastics teams shrink from five to four, but allowed certain countries to win the right to bring up to two individual competitors to the Olympic Games. These competitors couldn’t participate in the team competition but could earn the right to participate in the individual event finals.
Carey had virtually clinched one of the individual spots available to the United States heading into the U.S. gymnastics trials and qualifiers. As such, she chose not to compete for a team spot and performed in just six of the eight events at the U.S. Olympic qualifiers.
“I have every intention to accept the individual spot that I worked very hard to earn by competing in the Apparatus World Cup Series spanning from 2018-2020 when officially offered to me,” Carey wrote in an Instagram post. “My focus right now is preparing to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and being able to contribute to Team USA in any way possible.”