5 Things You Might Not Know About US Olympic-Bound Gymnast Grace McCallum

Grace McCallum was one of the elite gymnasts named to the US women's artistic gymnastics team heading to the summer Tokyo Olympics this summer. The 18-year-old from Minnesota came in fourth place at the 2021 Olympic Gymnastics Trials at the end of June and was subsequently added into the last two remaining spots on the four-person squad (Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee locked in their spots by finishing first and second in the all-around). Rounding out the team is Jordan Chiles, and they will be joined overseas by individual athletes MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey, who will not compete in the team final.

McCallum was the national balance beam bronze medalist this year and was a two-time team gold medalist at the World Championships. She mentioned in a USA Gymnastics press conference on July 12 that she couldn't believe her name was called at Trials as part of the newly selected Olympic team. "I actually had to turn to my friend Jade [Carey] and was like, 'Did they say my name?'" McCallum said. She competes her best when she's having fun, she noted, so that's a goal of hers in Tokyo: to enjoy herself.

McCallum actually sustained a boxer's fracture in her hand at the start of 2021 that required surgery. She expected to have an eight-week recovery time, but she was set back a few weeks due to an infection in her pinky and other finger injuries. "I think the hardest part was getting my range of motion back, my hand strength back," she said.

When fielding questions at that press conference specifically from POPSUGAR, McCallum said that other than doing well in the team final, she aims to qualify for, and medal in, at least one Olympic event final — two gymnasts per country make it — namely for floor. Past team names have ranged from the Magnificent Seven to the Final Five, and though she isn't quite sure what their name will be, she said she's excited to see what they come up with.

We can't wait to watch McCallum in action overseas. Ahead, check out a few facts you might not know about her.

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 on NBC.

Grace McCallum Looks Up to Nastia Liukin
Getty | Carmen Mandato

Grace McCallum Looks Up to Nastia Liukin

McCallum told POPSUGAR in her press conference that Liukin, the 2008 Olympic all-around gold medalist, demonstrated "such a different side of gymnastics. She showed elegance and grace, which you don't see a whole lot."


Grace McCallum Is Set to Attend the University of Utah For Gymnastics

McCallum told KARE 11 that she visited the University of Utah in eighth grade, "and it kind of felt like home right away." She added, "I loved the program. I mean, the coaches were amazing, I loved the atmosphere and how hard girls worked, and the school itself just had everything I wanted." She also noted that she's interested in the medical school there specifically.

McCallum, who's on the 2022 Utah gymnastics roster, further told POPSUGAR she's excited for the team aspect of collegiate gymnastics and to go back to the world of perfect-10 scoring as opposed to the scoring system on the elite level.

Grace McCallum Sees a Sports Psychologist
Getty | Jamie Squire

Grace McCallum Sees a Sports Psychologist

McCallum told POPSUGAR that aside from her massage therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic sessions, she's been seeing a sports psychologist for the past four years "just because it's such a mental sport, too." She added that "you have to be so mentally strong and in it all the time," and that her most recent sports psychologist has helped.


Grace McCallum Has Adorable Dogs

Dogs are McCallum's favorite animal, according to FloGymnastics, and she has two sweet German Shepherds at home: Hazel and Bella. You can follow them on Instagram!

Grace McCallum Is the Tallest Member of the US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team
Getty | Carmen Mandato

Grace McCallum Is the Tallest Member of the US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team

McCallum is on the taller side for a gymnast, telling KARE 11 that she's 5' 3 1/2". "I just look like a giant," she said with a laugh. "But tall is beautiful, so you just have to work with it."