There will be a new women’s all-around gymnastics champion now that Simone Biles has pulled out of competition. The gymnast considered the greatest of all time has cited her mental health and the pressure she’s been under as her reason for not competing in the all-around competition.
Jade Carey, a 2018 graduate of Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around. Carey initially did not qualify because she was the third-ranking American behind Biles and Sunisa Lee. International Gymnastics Federation rules limit countries to two athletes per event in the finals.
Now the competition will likely come down to Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, who finished second to Biles during qualifying, followed by Lee and Russians Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova. The four were separated by three-tenths of a point in qualifying.
Carey now finds herself in the final, capping a remarkable journey for the 21-year-old. She spent two years traveling the globe in an effort to pile up enough points on the World Cup circuit to earn an individual nominative spot, meaning she would be in the Olympics but technically not be part of the four-woman U.S. team.
MORE COVERAGE: Glendale Olympians: Jade Carey ready for Tokyo
She posted the second-best score on vault and the third-best on floor during qualifying, earning trips to the event finals in the process. Now she finds herself competing for an all-around medal while replacing the athlete considered the greatest of all-time in the sport.
The all-around will be streamed live Thursday morning at 6:50 a.m. on Peacock, with a replay on NBC during primetime coverage.