How would you throw the first pitch at an MLB game? On Aug. 30, Phoenix, AZ, native Jade Carey added her own gymnastics twist when tossing the opening pitch at the Arizona Diamondbacks game against the San Diego Padres. It was only fitting as an Olympic floor gold medalist that she did a front aerial into her throw, which you can see in slow motion in the video ahead.
Though the Olympics are over, there's more gymnastics in store for Carey. She is set to participate in this fall's Gold Over America Tour with fellow Olympians Simone Biles, MyKayla Skinner, Grace McCallum, and Jordan Chiles, along with a list of other noteworthy talent. She'll then make her NCAA debut at Oregon State University. The journey continues!
Jade Carey is finally embarking on her freshman year at Oregon State, after taking a somewhat winding route to Corvallis.
Then again, the 21-year-old Olympic gold medalist is used to taking the nontraditional path.
After reaching the pinnacle of her sport in Tokyo, Carey has honored her commitment to compete for the Beavers, embarking on a new chapter where her elite and collegiate careers are intertwined.
Carey first visited Oregon State in 2015 and committed in 2017. But the plan was to compete in the Olympics and then to focus on school.
"Ever since the first time I visited here, I just fell in love with everything about this town and this campus," she said last week after arriving on campus. “I'm just especially excited to be part of the gymnastics team. It's just a really great group of girls and I love the coaches.”
After the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the Olympics by a year, Carey enrolled and took a few classes at Oregon State remotely from her home in Arizona while training.
“I just needed something to do besides just gymnastics,” the kinesiology major said.
She earned her spot at the Olympics in an unusual way, taking advantage of an International Gymnastics Federation provision for the 2020 Games that allowed athletes to lock up an individual berth if they racked up enough points at World Cup events.
Carey traveled the world collecting points and accepted her spot on the eve of the U.S. Olympic Trials. But that meant she was giving up a shot at making the four-woman team that ended up winning silver during the team competition. The federation has since dropped the points provision.
In Japan, Carey was considered one of the favorites in the vault but she tripped on the runway on her first attempt to fall out of contention. Disappointed but undaunted, she rebounded by nimbly executing her floor routine, to the cheers of her teammates looking on.
"It's been CRAZY!" 🇺🇸 Jade Carey's way to Floor Gold at Tokyo2020!
Jade Carey's floor gold medal at Tokyo 2020 was a long time coming. The 21-year-old was the first US gymnast to earn a spot at the Games. Despite the long wait she kept cool on the day of the floor final.