Jade Carey competes during the women's floor exercise final at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 2, 2021 in Tokyo.
Nearing the end of her first collegiate gymnastics season at Oregon State, Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey announced Wednesday that she’s returning to the sport’s elite level — but not before competing at this month’s NCAA championships.
Carey, 21, joined the Beavers last fall after deferring enrollment to compete for a spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. After earning that spot, and then winning the gold medal on floor exercise in Tokyo, she went on to a standout freshman season that continued over the weekend at the regional championships, where she qualified as an individual all-arounder for the NCAA championships that take place April 14-16 in Fort Worth, Texas.
After that? Carey announced on Twitter that she accepted an invitation to an upcoming national team camp and “will be pursuing elite gymnastics while remaining dedicated to my GymBeav family.”
She didn’t specify whether she will continue competing at Oregon State, but she raved about her experience so far.
“NCAA gymnastics is and continues to be an incredible experience,” she wrote. “I’m looking forward to competing and representing Oregon State at nationals next week. I wouldn’t be here in this moment without my beaver family. Their endless love and support pushes and inspires me to be a better version of myself.”
Carey is one of four members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team now competing in college, and she’ll join Tokyo teammates Jordan Chiles (UCLA), Sunisa Lee (Auburn) and Grace McCallum (Utah) in Fort Worth, along with 2020 Olympic alternates Leanne Wong (Florida) and Kara Eaker (Utah).
Lee, the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, led Auburn to its first NCAA championships since 2016. Utah also qualified for the team event, as did Florida, while Chiles will join Carey in competing individually in Fort Worth. Chiles qualified on uneven bars and floor exercise.
Should Carey return to elite gymnastics she could continue a storied career in the sport that saw her rise from the Junior Olympic level in 2016 to becoming a world championships medalist in 2017. She has won four world championships medals — including team gold in 2019 — and might have won more had she not been forced to withdraw from contention for the 2018 event in order to remain eligible for the convoluted individual Olympic qualifying process.
This year’s U.S. championships are set for August in Tampa, Florida, with the world championships starting in late October in Liverpool, England.
“But for now,” Carey wrote, “I’ll see you in Fort Worth.”