Which women will make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team?


With the 2021 U.S. Championships in the rearview mirror, the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team picture is getting a bit clearer.

Given her dominance, seven-time U.S. all-around champion Simone Biles is essentially a lock for the Tokyo Olympics, while Jade Carey has mathematically clinched an individual spot (more below).

The complete U.S. Olympic gymnastics team roster will be named at the conclusion of U.S. Olympic Trials (June 24-27 in St. Louis, Missouri).

Which gymnasts will compete at U.S. Olympic Trials?

Following the conclusion of the 2021 U.S. National Championships on Sunday, 18 women were selected for the 2021 U.S. National team and U.S. Olympic Trials:

  • Simone Biles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Skye Blakely, Frisco, Texas/WOGA Gymnastics
  • Jade Carey, Phoenix, Ariz./Arizona Sunrays
  • Jordan Chiles, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics
  • Amari Drayton, Spring, Texas/World Champions Centre
  • Kara Eaker, Grain Valley, Mo./Great American Gymnastics Express
  • Addison Fatta, Wrightsville, Pa./Prestige Gymnastics
  • Shilese Jones, Westerville, Ohio/Future Gymnastics Academy
  • Emily Lee, Los Gatos, Calif./West Valley Gymnastics School
  • Sunisa Lee, St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gymnastics Center
  • Emma Malabuyo, Flower Mound, Texas/Texas Dreams
  • Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twisters
  • Riley McCusker, Brielle, N.J./Arizona Sunrays
  • Zoe Miller, Spring, Texas, World Champions Centre
  • Ava Siegfeldt, Williamsburg, Va./World Class Gymnastics
  • MyKayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz./Desert Lights Gymnastics
  • Leanne Wong, Overland Park, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express

Athletes not automatically selected were allowed to petition to compete at U.S. Olympic Trials, but USA Gymnastics did not accept any petitions.

One particularly notable omission is 2017 world all-around champion and 2020 American Cup all-around winner Morgan Hurd, who had two surgeries on her elbow in March. Hurd, who is known for her activism and social justice work, competed only two events at U.S. Championships (finishing 23rd on floor and 26th on balance beam).

Also missing is two-time Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez, who withdrew from Championships on Friday after hyperextending her left knee while warming up on balance beam.

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: Jordan Chiles qualifies for Tokyo, 3 years after nearly quitting gymnastics (video)

How will the 2021 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team be selected?

In a change since previous Olympics – where each team consisted of five athletes – the Tokyo Olympics will feature a four-person team competition.

But that doesn’t mean that only four women will make the U.S. team.

Confused? You’re not alone.

Here’s how it works:

Olympic team event (4 gymnasts):

The U.S. qualified a four-person team by winning gold in the team event at the 2018 World Championships. Those four spots will be filled as follows:

    1. First place in the all-around at U.S. Olympic Trials (very likely Simone Biles, who hasn’t lost an all-around competition since 2013)
    2. Second place in the all-around at U.S. Olympic Trials
    3. Selected by committee
    4. Selected by committee

Individual Olympic spots (2 gymnasts):

Two spots are available for individuals. These athletes will still be part of the U.S. team, but they won’t be allowed to compete in the team event.

    1. Jade Carey (mathematically clinched via 2018-2020 apparatus World Cup series, more below)
    2. Selected by committee

Wait, how did Jade Carey qualify for the Olympics ahead of Olympic Trials?

After the 2016 Rio Olympics, the international federation that oversees gymnastics (FIG) revamped Olympic qualification procedures for the Tokyo Games. One of the major changes was allowing athletes to earn individual Olympic spots by name.

Jade Carey, who is coached by her father Brian, took advantage of this new pathway. In 2018, Carey opted not to compete at the World Championships, knowing that if she won a medal as a member of the U.S. team, she would not be eligible to earn an individual quota spot.

“I’ve known about this qualification process for over a year,” Brian told OlympicTalk in 2018. “I’ve studied it, researched it and stayed up to date on changes… We didn’t make the rules. It’s just my job to stay on top of the rules, stay updated, make sure I’m doing what’s in the best interest for my athlete.”

In April 2020, Carey mathematically clinched a spot at the Tokyo Games thanks to her strong performances on vault and floor at four World Cup competitions between 2018 and 2019.

Carey is still expected to compete at U.S. Olympic Trials. And if she finishes first or second in the all-around, she would automatically earn the right to compete for the U.S. in the four-person team event in Tokyo.

If she accepts that spot, the quota place she earned by name could not be filled by another American gymnast, meaning the U.S. would only send five women to the Games instead of six.

“It would be up to her,” U.S. high performance director Tom Forster said on Sunday night.

After her sixth-place finish in the all-around this past weekend, it seems unlikely Carey will finish in the top two at Trials. And Carey is not expected to be selected if she finishes third or fourth, given that her individual spot would then be lost.

However, it should also be pointed out that, once Carey gets to Tokyo, she will still have the chance to compete in the individual all-around.

During qualification in Tokyo, individual athletes will be allowed to compete on any/all events except the team event. So even though Carey earned her Olympic spot thanks to strong showings on vault and floor, she would still be allowed to compete on uneven bars and balance beam, and therefore has the potential to qualify for the individual all-around final.

The two-per-country rule would still apply, meaning only the top two Americans (whether entered as individuals or team members) would be able to compete in the individual all-around, as well as individual event finals.

What’s particularly interesting is that when Carey decided to aim for individual spot, that choice made sense given that she wasn’t a particularly strong all-arounder, but had massive potential on both floor and vault (she won world silver medals on both at 2017 Worlds). But in the years since, Carey has also made strides on uneven bars and balance beam. And given that she is currently on a different timeline than the rest of the U.S. team (and also dealing with an ankle injury), it doesn’t seem like she has yet shown her full potential. Ahead of U.S. Championships, Carey trained a triple-twisting double back layout on floor, a skill that would make her an even stronger contender for a medal in that event. (Biles also does a triple-twisting double back on floor, but in the tucked position.)

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: MyKayla Skinner, alternate in Rio, impresses at Olympic Trials

Ok, so which women will make the four-person U.S. Olympic gymnastics team?

Simone Biles

Biles has long been considered a near-lock to make the U.S. Olympic team. In addition to winning a record-breaking seventh all-around national title at the 2021 U.S. Championships, Biles also extended her undefeated streak: she has won every all-around competition she’s entered since March 2013.

VIDEO: Every replay of Simone Biles’ Yurchenko double pike vault

Also at U.S. Championships, two additional women set themselves apart from the rest of the field: Suni Lee and Jordan Chiles.

Suni Lee

Lee was the only athlete not named “Simone Biles” to claim a national title at U.S. Championships. With her family in the stands, Lee – who claimed three medals at 2019 Worlds – posted the highest score on uneven bars and also finished second in the all-around, a particularly impressive achievement given that the 18-year-old is currently coming back from a foot/Achilles injury.

“She seems like she’s right back where she was in 2019,” Forster said on Sunday night.

RELATED: With father in the stands, Suni Lee shines on uneven bars (video)

Jordan Chiles

Chiles finished third in the all-around, continuing a streak of consistent performances. She started her season by winning February’s Winter Cup and then continued her momentum with a second-place finish at last month’s U.S. Classic.

“Jordan has shown great consistency this year,” Forster said. “She’s done an incredible job and she looks like a solid contender.”

Two years ago, Chiles was on the verge of quitting the sport, but she ultimately decided to move to Texas, where she now trains alongside Biles at World Champions Centre. After Sunday’s competition, Biles gave her new training partner high marks.

“She did exactly what she was supposed to: out here tonight – and at Classics – and at Winter Cup,” Biles said. “If we keep this going, we have a good shot of making the Olympic team together and going to Tokyo.”

RELATED: Jordan Chiles rekindled her love of gymnastics by moving 1,800 miles

Apart from Biles, Chiles, and Lee, who else is in the mix for the four-person U.S. Olympic gymnastics team?

Quite a few athletes!

At U.S. Championships, gymnasts who finished fourth through ninth were separated by less than a point. Here’s the list of top finishers:

1. Simone Biles, Spring, Texas, 119.650
2. Sunisa Lee, St. Paul, Minn., 114.950
3. Jordan Chiles, Spring, Texas, 114.450
4. Emma Malabuyo, Flower Mound, Texas, 110.450
5. Leanne Wong, Overland Park, Kan., 110.150
6. Jade Carey, Phoenix, Ariz., 110.000
7. Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minn., 109.550
7. Skye Blakely, Frisco, Texas, 109.550
9. MyKayla Skinner, Gilbert, Ariz., 109.500
10. Kara Eaker, Grain Valley, Mo., 109.050
11. Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md., 108.800
12. Shilese Jones, Westerville, Ohio, 108.500

Fourth place marked an impressive comeback for Emma Malabuyo, the 2017 U.S. junior silver medalist whose career has been defined mostly by injuries in the years since.

“Clearly Emma Malabuyo was super impressive,” Forster said. “She came out of a very, very low position at the U.S. Classic, and it’s great to see her back in her international form that she was in a couple years ago since she’s wrestled with a couple injuries here and there.”

Because the Olympic team event uses a “three up, three count” scoring system, the top four athletes in the all-around at Olympic Trials might not necessarily represent the four athletes who can best contribute to the U.S. team’s score.

For example, the highest-scoring three-count team from both days of U.S. Nationals would be Biles, Lee, Chiles, and fifth-place finisher Leanne Wong, while the highest scoring team using only night two scores would be Biles, Lee, Chiles, and MyKayla Skinner.

Finally, don’t count out two-time team event world champion Grace McCallum (who is coming back from hand surgery earlier this year), Skye Blakely (a 16-year-old who was 35 days too young to compete in Tokyo before the one-year postponement), and Kayla DiCello (the 2019 U.S. junior all-around champion).

To determine how to complete the team, Forster says he will use a ProScore tool that allows him to consider “every possible scenario of team formation to get the highest score.”

What about the other individual Olympic spot?

On Sunday night, Forster confirmed that an athlete doesn’t need to be a strong all-arounder to earn the final individual spot.

“Whoever is really stepping up and showing the best potential for winning a medal – or medals – will earn that spot,” he said.

Riley McCusker (second on uneven bars behind Lee at Championships) and MyKayla Skinner (second on vault behind Biles) are prime contenders for that spot. Suni Lee – if she isn’t selected for the team event – would also be a clear choice due to her strength on uneven bars.

What’s expected of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in Tokyo?

Quite simply: gold.

The U.S. women’s team has won the last two Olympic team gold medals and the same is expected in Tokyo, regardless of which four athletes make the team.

In addition to leading the U.S. team, Simone Biles is also favored to win four individual gold medals (all-around, floor, vault, and balance beam), and should contend for a medal on uneven bars (her so-called weak event).

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: Olympic hopeful Gabby Thomas: the world’s fastest epidemiologist?

NBC Olympics researcher Sarah Hughes contributed to this story.

Note: a previous version of this story misstated the name of the software used to calculate team scores. It is ProScore, not Prosport. 

Follow Alex Azzi on Twitter @AlexAzziNBC

2023 March Madness: Utah Utes engineer dramatic turnaround for third-ever Sweet Sixteen appearance

Members of the Utah Utes celebrate their win over the Princeton Tigers in the second round of the NCAA Womens Basketball Tournament.
Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The No. 2-seeded Utah (27-4) women’s basketball team held off a pesky 10th-seeded Princeton squad on Sunday, winning 63-56 to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships for the first time since 2005-06 and just the third time in the program’s history.

“I’m proud of our team,” said eighth-year head coach Lynne Roberts after the second-round win at Utah’s Hunstman Center. “We set out to do this a year ago. We lost in this game at University of Texas and the goal was to be able to host (this year) so that we could have that home-court advantage and it made a difference.”

Utah’s fourth-year junior Alissa Pili backed up her recent second-team All-American honor with another 20-plus-point performance, scoring 28 on 8-for 13 shooting with 10 rebounds and going 11-for 13 on free throws. Sophomore forward Jenna Johnson added 15 points and six rebounds.

There’s been a lot of talk this weekend about how the Utes’ previous few seasons have ended – beginning with a rough 14-17 season that was cut short in 2020 due to the pandemic, followed by an abysmal 5-16 record in 2020-21. But the tide turned last year, as Utah rebounded with a 21-12 season that ended with a 78-56 loss to Texas in Austin in the second round of the NCAA tournament one year ago.

So, what changed?

“Last year, everyone was new to the NCAA tournament, so I think everyone was just experiencing it for the first time,” mused Johnson. “Losing in the second round last year, we’re definitely a lot hungrier this year, and then obviously hosting in Salt Lake, it’s fun just being in your own environment, to be around your own fans. I think it gives us an elevated level of confidence, both knowing what it’s like it play in this tournament and also getting to be at home.”

“Yeah, freshman year was kind of rough,” added third-year sophomore Kennady McQueen, who chipped in nine points Sunday. “We did experience losing a lot. … Coach Roberts, she said we are not going to have another season like that. We all stood behind her — the people that stayed — and brought in great people like starting last year with Jenna and Gi (Gianna Kneepkens) and people like that who have had a huge impact in helping us to where we are today. …

“When you get together a group of people that have the same goal in mind and will do make anything to make it happen, I think that’s where we have seen our success rate going up. This past offseason, we just kept getting better, and of course, the addition of the Alissa Pili really helped. When you bring a group of girls that have the same dream and same goal at the end of the year and doesn’t care about personal stats more than winning, I think we get the season that we have today, and it prepares us for deep run in March.”

In particular, McQueen believe it was Utah’s improvement in their defense that was crucial to the turnaround. “Everyone knows how good we are on offense, but if we can’t get stops, it doesn’t matter how good you are on offense,” she said. “So that’s just been a key the whole past off-season and all of this season — just getting better on defense.”

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: Alissa Pili revives her love of basketball with record season at Utah

Roberts credits their defensive improvement with a “philosophical mindset change,” explaining, “We worked on [defense] a lot differently, a lot more intentionally. Strategically we made some changes of how we are going to defend, and I won’t bore you with that. But there was a lot, just different things because you have to play to your strengths. You can’t be a run-and-jump pressing team if you don’t have the depth and athletes to do it. You can’t be a zone team if you are not super big. You have to figure out what fits your personnel, and so that’s what we did.”

There’s also the undeniable impact of Pili, a transfer from USC who has found her stride as a Ute, where she recently was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.

“She kind of is the straw that stirs the drink for us right now,” said Roberts of the 21-year-old Alaska native. “She’s a nightmare to defend because she can shoot the three, and she’s also really athletic and mobile, so it doesn’t matter who we are playing. I think you have to gameplan for her. But then with her three-point shooting, you know, you have to pick your poison.”

But Roberts also gave plenty of kudos to Johnson, whom she describes as “phenomenal.”

“She’s 19 going on 40,” Roberts said of Johnson. “She’s the most mature, even-keeled consistent player we have. What I love about her is she is who she is. She’s confident in who she is. She knows who she is. She also is incredibly busy off the court.

“We were talking as we were getting ready to watch film, just shooting the breeze a bunch of us, we were talking about movies. And she was like, Oh, I don’t watch movies. Why not? I don’t have time. I get bored. What do you mean you don’t have time? Do you watch shows? No, I don’t ever watch TV. It is because she is doing all of these other extracurricular activities.”

As for guiding to the Utes to becoming a championship program, Roberts still sees it as an uphill battle – but one that she and her players are ready for.

“I always use the analogy of pushing the boulder up the hill,” she said. “And doing things for the first time, you have to have that mindset. You have to keep pushing. It’s been incredibly fun to see the support, and I think the swell is a perfect word for it. Most importantly, our players feel it.

“This is why you play, right? And it means so much. I know I say it over and over, but this is not going to be a flash-in-the-pan [season]. This isn’t going to be a ‘Oh, remember that year they had such an incredible year?’ We are going to keep doing it.”

RELATED: 2023 March Madness 2023 — Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

2023 March Madness: Updated bracket, scores and schedule for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship


Editor’s note: We’ll keep this page updated, so be sure to check back here for winners, scores and next-round details as the tournament progresses.

The bracket for 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship is officially set and defending champion South Carolina earned the No. 1 overall seed for the second straight season. A total of 68 teams will see tournament action, beginning with the “First Four” games on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by Round 1 play kicking off on Friday.

On Her Turf has compiled the matchups, sites and schedule for the tournament, which culminates Sunday, April 2 with the title game from American Airlines Center in Dallas.

2023 tournament No. 1 seeds:

  • South Carolina Gamecocks
  • Indiana Hoosiers
  • Virginia Tech Hokies
  • Stanford Cardinal

Last four teams in the tournament:

  • Illinois
  • Mississippi State
  • Purdue
  • St. John’s

First four teams out of the tournament:

  • Columbia
  • Kansas
  • UMass
  • Oregon

RELATED: South Carolina nabs No. 1 overall seed in NCAA women’s basketball tournament

‘First Four’ game schedule

Wednesday, March 15

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11. Illinois vs. 11. Mississippi State (South Bend, Indiana)
    • Winner: Mississippi State, 70-56
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Southern U vs. 16 Sacred Heart (Stanford, California)
    • Winner: Sacred Heart, 57-47

Thursday, March 16

  • 7 p.m. ET: 11 Purdue vs. 11 St. John’s (Columbus, Ohio)
    • Winner: St. John’s, 66-64
  • 9 p.m. ET: 16 Tennessee Tech vs. 16 Monmouth (Greenville, S.C.)
    • Winner: Tennessee Tech, 79-69

Bracket, schedule* by region 

*Includes scores, game time and TV network, if available


Columbia, S.C.

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. South Carolina 72, 16. Norfolk State 40
    • 8. South Florida 67, 9. Marquette 65
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. South Carolina 76, 8. South Florida, 45

Los Angeles, California

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Oklahoma 85, 12. Portland 63
    • 4. UCLA 67, 13. Sacramento State 45
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. UCLA vs. 5. Oklahoma, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

South Bend, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Creighton 66, 11. Mississippi State 81 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Notre Dame 82, 14. Southern Utah 56
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 3. Notre Dame 53, 11. Mississippi State 48

College Park, Maryland

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Arizona 75, 10. West Virginia 62
    • 2. Maryland 93, 15. Holy Cross 61
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Maryland 77, 7. Arizona 64


Bloomington, Indiana

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 1. Indiana 77, 16. Tennessee Tech 47 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Oklahoma State 61, 9. Miami 62 (FL)
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 1. Indiana vs. 9. Miami, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Villanova, Pennsylvania

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Washington State 63, 12. FGCU 74
    • 4. Villanova 76, 13. Cleveland State 59
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. FGCU vs. 4. Villanova, 7 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 6. Michigan 71, 11. UNLV 59
    • 3. LSU 73, 14. Hawaii 50
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 6. Michigan vs. 3. LSU, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. N.C. State 63, 10. Princeton 64
    • 2. Utah 103, 15. Gardner-Webb 77
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Utah vs. 10. Princeton, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)


 Blacksburg, Virginia

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 58, 16. Chattanooga 33
    • 8. Southern California 57, 9. South Dakota State 62
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Virginia Tech 72, South Dakota State, 60

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Iowa State 73, 12. Toledo 80
    • 4. Tennessee 95, 13. Saint Louis 50
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 12. Toledo vs. 4. Tennessee, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)

Columbus, Ohio

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. North Carolina 61, 11. St. John’s  59 (First Four winner)
    • 3. Ohio State 80, 14. James Madison 66
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Ohio State vs. 6. North Carolina, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Storrs, Connecticut

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 7. Baylor 78, 10. Alabama 74
    • 2. UConn 95, 15. Vermont 52
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 2. UConn vs. 7. Baylor, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)


Stanford, California

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 1. Stanford 92, 16. Sacred Heart 49 (First Four winner)
    • 8. Ole Miss 71, 9. Gonzaga 48
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 1. Stanford vs. 8. Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Austin, Texas 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 5. Louisville 83, 12. Drake 81
    • 4. Texas 79, 13. East Carolina 40
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 4. Texas vs. 5. Louisville, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Durham, N.C. 

  • Round 1 — Saturday, March 18:
    • 6. Colorado 82, 11. Middle Tennessee State 60
    • 3. Duke 89, 14. Iona 49
  • Round 2 — Monday, March 20:
    • 3. Duke vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Iowa City, Iowa 

  • Round 1 — Friday, March 17:
    • 7. Florida State 54, 10. Georgia 66
    • 2. Iowa 95, 15. Southeastern Louisiana 43
  • Round 2 — Sunday, March 19:
    • 2. Iowa 74, 10. Georgia 66

Regionals/Final Four schedule, how to watch

Sweet 16: Friday and Saturday, March 24-25; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Elite 8: Sunday and Monday, March 26-27; Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C., host: Southern Conference and Furman; and Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, hosts: Seattle and Seattle Sports Commission

Final 4: Friday, March 31, 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

Championship Game: Sunday, April 2, 3 p.m. ET (ABC); American Airlines Center, Dallas; hosts: Big 12 Conference and Dallas Sports Commission

MORE FROM ON HER TURF: 2023 March Madness — All about the 32 automatic qualifiers