Highs and lows are a part of any Olympic sport, with the Games putting athletes to the ultimate test of overcoming adversity.
Jade Carey (OREGON STATE) had to bounce back. The U.S. gymnast finished eighth in the women’s vault final just the day before, leaving her with a result that was not easy for the 21-year-old to live with.
“Yesterday was very tough for me,” Carey said. “I tripped, I guess, in my hurdle, or right before. I don’t even know. It’s kind of a blur now. It was really hard, but I’m glad I’m safe and healthy. Doing that second vault, it was a challenge, but I didn’t want to give up.”
After Sunday’s defeat, Carey came back to win gold in the women’s floor final, edging out Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari with a score of 14.366. Her performance came at a time she needed it most, and produced what Carey believes was among one of her best efforts yet.
“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.
The women’s gymnastics team in particular has had its fair share of adversity to overcome these Games, in particular with the loss of Simone Biles on the competition side last week. Biles will return Tuesday for the women’s beam final, and according to Carey, supported her through her competition in the floor final.
“They reminded me that I’m a great vaulter and I will come back from it. 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.”
The gold medal is Carey’s first and only of the 2020 Games. The final day of gymnastics will take place Tuesday, with Carey supporting teammate Sunisa Lee in the women’s beam finals from the sideline.
» Leilani Mitchell (UTAH) and the Australia women’s basketball team collected a 96-69 victory over Puerto Rico. Mitchell started the game for Australia and accounted for 12 points.
» The U.S. women’s soccer team, which features eight from the Pac-12, lost against Canada 1-0 in the semifinal round. UCLA’s Jessie Fleming scored the winning penalty kick in the 75th minute to send Canada to the gold-medal match. The U.S. will play Australia for bronze on August 5.
» Valarie Allman (STANFORD) won the gold medal for the U.S. in women’s discus. Allman’s winning throw came on her first attempt, where she threw 68.98 meters.
» The U.S. men’s volleyball team lost to Argentina 3-0 in a preliminary round match and did not advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2000. UCLA’s Mitch Stahl (UCLA) accounted for six points in the match.
Looking Ahead: U.S. athlete Rai Benjamin (USC) advanced to the men’s 400 meter hurdle final. After the semifinal event, Benjamin said, “It feels great to go through, but the job’s not done. I’ve got to pick up some things and get ready for Tuesday.”
Quote of the Day: “I can’t believe it. I have watched the Olympics for as long as I can remember and athletics has always had such a special spot in my heart. To now be here and be in this moment, it feels so surreal.
“Our team is filled with so many incredible athletes, and I am just blown away that I am not only a medalist, I am the gold medalist. It is like a dream come true.” – Valarie Allman (STANFORD) on winning the first gold medal in track and field for United States at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Andrew Kurland is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a collaboration between the Pac-12 Conference and ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
UPCOMING MEDAL OPPORTUNITIES
Monday, August 2
Track & Field: Men’s 400m Hurdles Final – 8:20 p.m. PT
Tuesday, August 3
Gymnastics: Men’s Horizontal Bar Final – 2:39 a.m. PT
Track & Field: Women’s Hammer Throw Final – 4:35 a.m. PT
- Canada: Camryn Rogers (CAL)
Track & Field: Women’s 800m Final – 5:35 a.m. PT