With medals to their names, incoming freshmen gymnasts turn their attention to the Pac-12
The usual packing list for incoming college students can be pretty monotonous - textbooks, a laptop, cheap dorm furniture - but four Pac-12 student-athletes who are about to begin their collegiate careers need to remember one more special item: Olympic medals.
Team USA’s Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, Grace McCallum and Great Britain’s Amelia Morgan will all be bringing Olympic hardware with them when they unpack their bags at their respective Pac-12 universities later this fall.
Chiles proved that she is a force in competition, after performing on all four apparatuses to help Team USA to a silver medal in the team competition. Her pristine skillset and savvy social media presence (Will Yoder of Instagram Sports Partnerships reports that Chiles added over 240,000 Instagram followers during the Tokyo games) made her an international sensation.
— UCLA Gymnastics (@uclagymnastics) July 28, 2021
The incoming UCLA freshman's homecoming has been a longtime in the making. She committed to compete with the Bruins a full five years ago but had to twice defer her acceptance after postponement of the 2020 Games.
While it has been a winding road, Chiles knows that her commitment to UCLA will be well worth it, telling the Daily Bruin: “UCLA was that school where I was like, ‘OK, I’ll be able to enjoy the rest of my life, being at this school and still having the ability to be me.”
Jade Carey will bring her individual gold medal in the floor exercise with her when she heads to Corvallis to compete for Oregon State. Carey added to Team USA's gold-medal haul after scoring a 14.366. She also filled in for Simone Biles - arguably the greatest gymnast of all time - for Team USA in the all-around final.
— Oregon State Gymnastics (@BeaverGym) August 2, 2021
While Amelie Morgan (Great Britain) and Grace McCallum (USA) competed for different countries in Tokyo, they will both be representing the Utah Red Rocks next when NCAA competition gets started.
Morgan helped Great Britain to bronze in the team competition, its first gymnastics medal since 1928, with superb showings on the bars and beam. Her performance clearly impressed her future coach, Utah’s Tom Farden, who said via statement, “(Amelie’s) contributions at the Tokyo Olympic Games helped Team Great Britain to a historic team medal. She is known for her work ethic and unshakeable determination. We feel these qualities will serve her well in the NCAA and in our program."
After earning a team silver with Team USA, Grace McCallum will join Morgan at the Huntsman Center in 2022 as the Utah Red Rocks aim to defend their Pac-12 title.
After I interviewed Team USA gymnast Grace McCallum she shared this message with Utah and her @UtahGymnastics family. ❤️🙌❤️#GoUtes #Utah #TokyoOlympics #Olympics @kslsports @KSL5TV @grace_mccallum2 @TeamUSA @NBCOlympics @UUtah pic.twitter.com/MkhJ3eKZKi
— Shara Park (@KSLSharaPark) July 29, 2021
Rounding out the Pac-12 freshmen with Olympic ties are UCLA's Brooklyn Moors, who competed for Canada in Tokyo, and Utah's Kara Eaker and UCLA's Emma Malabuyo, who were alternates for the United States.
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