Jade Carey Flies High to Claim Gold in the Olympic Women's Gymnastics Floor Final
After a first-vault error involving her steps kept her off the podium in that Tokyo Olympic event final on Aug. 1, Jade Carey came back strong with a gold-medal finish in the floor final the following day. The soon-to-be Oregon State University gymnast received a 14.366 with a huge difficulty score of 6.3. It was a well-controlled, jam-packed routine that clinched her first-ever Olympic medal.
Four-time Olympian Vanessa Ferrari of Italy, who qualified in the top spot after the preliminary round, claimed silver upon executing a beautiful 14.2-scoring performance. This is the first individual medal of any color, on any event, in women's artistic gymnastics for her country, and, at 30, she's the oldest artistic gymnastics medalist of the Games so far, according to NBC Sports's Nick Zaccardi. Tied for third were the Russian Olympic Committee's Angelina Melnikova and Japan's Mai Murakami with a score of 14.166. Murakami's bronze marked the first time a Japanese woman gymnast has won an individual event medal, Reuters reported.
Great Britain's Jennifer Gadirova took Simone Biles's place once she withdrew from the floor final, joining twin sister Jessica in the lineup of eight women. They received seventh and sixth place, respectively. This competition also featured Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, who has already made history for her country in Tokyo with her gold medal on vault and silver in the all-around; she finished fifth.
Carey, along with Rio 2016 alternate MyKayla Skinner, clinched an individual berth to represent the United States in Tokyo, as opposed to a spot on the four-person squad that took silver in the July 27 team event. She stepped in for Biles in the July 29 all-around final when the 24-year-old opted out for her mental health — Carey was next in line due to the two-per-country-maximum rule and placed eighth.
In the floor final, Carey did not do the triple-double layout that she submitted at the beginning of the Games to be named after her if she successfully landed it in competition. It would have been worth a K value (1.1 points) in difficulty, becoming the highest-valued skill in men's and women's gymnastics. However, Carey's tumbling was still quite the spectacle — she's known for an impressive repertoire of flips and twists.
"Coming back from a day like yesterday, I'm really proud of myself for being able to put that behind me and finish with probably the best floor routine I've ever done in my life," Carey said post-competition, according to NPR. Congrats on a golden performance!