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U.S. Gymnast Jade Carey Takes Gold In The Olympic Floor Exercise Final

U.S. gymnast Jade Carey competes during the women's floor exercise final on Monday at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Laurence Griffiths
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U.S. gymnast Jade Carey competes during the women's floor exercise final on Monday at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 7:04 AM ET

TOKYO — U.S. gymnast Jade Carey has won gold — her first Olympic medal — in the individual floor exercise final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Carey, a 21-year-old from Arizona, became the sole U.S. competitor in this event after Simone Biles withdrew to focus on her mental health. Carey pulled off a complicated tumbling routine with a high degree of difficulty, scoring a 14.366.

She looked happy and relieved as she walked off the mat. She also competed in the individual final of the vault, where she appeared to bail out of a more difficult maneuver and ultimately placed eighth.

"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 after the competition.

Her teammates helped her move past the disappointment of the vault. "Simone especially was helping me let it go and move on. She said: 'It happened, and you can't do anything about it. She was like, 'Let's go out and kill floor,' and that's what I did."

Italy's Vanessa Ferrari took silver, and Japan's Mai Murakami and Angelina Melnikova from the Russian team tied for bronze.

Tuesday, the final day of women's artistic gymnastics, will see Biles return to the competition. She'll compete in the balance beam individual final with Sunisa Lee, the gold medalist in the all-around individual event.

"Having Simone being back tomorrow is great. I'm really proud of her," Carey added. "She's been through a lot this Olympics, so it's gonna be great to see her out there tomorrow."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.