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United Excellence: USA Women’s Gymnastics in the 2020 Olympics

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SFA chapter.

It would be only appropriate to kick off 2022’s Women’s History Month with a recap of this past summer’s Olympic games that were held in Tokyo, Japan: specifically, the six women representing Team USA in the Women’s Gymnastics events. The women on this team excel both on and off the mat, bars, beam, vault and floor in all aspects of life, from academics to community service.

SImone Biles

Biles, 24, was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Spring, Texas with her grandparents. Her Olympic career began at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she won individual gold medals in the vault, floor, and all-around events, bronze on balance beam, and was a part of the Final Five, the group of women who brought home the Team gold for the entire event. After struggling with “the twisties” and her personal mental health during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Biles dropped out of several of her scheduled events, but managed to bring back bronze in balance beam and silver with the United States team. Biles is tied as the most decorated gymnast of all time, and is also tied with Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals won by an American gymnast. Deservedly, she has been granted the title of the “G.O.A.T.,” or, Greatest Of All Time.

Sunisa Lee

Sunisa “Suni” Lee, 18, made her Olympic debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, and her road leading up to it was anything but easy. She lost an aunt and uncle to COVID-19 the past year, and the day before leaving for the U.S. Championships, her father fell out of a tree while helping a friend trim it and was paralyzed. Despite all of those obstacles, Lee pulled through and won gold in the Women’s Gymnastics All Around, bronze on the Uneven Bars, and Team silver alongside her United States colleagues.

Jordan Chiles

Jordan Chiles, 24, also grew up in Spring, Texas, and trains alongside Biles at World Champions Center in the state. She was selected for the team by the USA Gymnastics Committee, unlike Biles and Lee, who were guaranteed spots as the top two scorers during Trials. While she questioned and doubted both her abilities and her continued perusal of gymnastics, Biles convinced Chiles to move to Texas and begin training with her.

GraCe Mccallum

Grace McCallum, 18, was a member of the 2018 and 2019 World Championship teams, but had struggled with multiple injuries over the past several years. She broke her wrist earlier in the year while training on the beam, and needed seven screws and a plate to stabilize the bones. Still, she managed to bounce back and compete exceptionally at the Trials, securing her spot on Team USA in Tokyo.

MyKayla Skinner

MyKayla Skinner, 24, was an alternate on the team during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and was determined to continue training while competition at the University of Utah. While she finished fifth in the Trials and missed making the four-person team for the Tokyo Olympics, Skinner continued to compete in the floor and vault events, placing second in Vault.

Jade Carey

Jade Carey, 21, competed individually in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, after being given an option to either keep her individual placement or compete for a spot on the team, and opting to stay as an individual competitor. Her Olympic Debut earned her a gold medal in Floor Exercise, and she now competes as a Freshman for Oregon State University.

Julia is a second-year student at Stephen F. Austin State University majoring in General Agriculture with a concentration in Pre-Veterinary Medicine and a minor in Applied Statistics. She lived in Colorado and Washington State before moving to Texas with her family, and grew up in household of animals! Besides writing, some other passions of hers include painting, reading, piano, and video games.