The crowd roared and leapt to its feet on Sunday night, eager to celebrate Simone Biles, who had just qualified to lead the women of the USA Gymnastics Olympic Team at the Tokyo Olympics next month. Biles, one of the greatest athletes in history, achieved the top score over the two-day US Gymnastics Olympic Trials, earning an automatic spot on the team. It was the 24th consecutive, all-around win for the 24-year-old athlete, according to official Team USA reports.
But who are the five other women who will make up Team USA at the Olympics? The games are set to kick off on July 23, having been postponed from their original 2020 date. The world will be watching Biles, who will compete perhaps for the last time on the Olympic stage. She’ll be joined by five teammates: second-place qualifier Sunisa Lee, as well as Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner.
This is where it gets a little bit confusing: Biles, Lee, Chiles, and McCallum will represent the US in the team competition. Carey and Skinner are on Team USA, but they will only compete for individual scores. They combine between them outrageous power. Each one is capable of movement that provokes both awe and slight disbelief. Let’s meet Team USA:
Lee, the youngest USA Gymnastics Olympic team qualifier is second only to Biles—in fact, she scored higher overall than Biles on one of the two days of trials. The St. Paul, Minnesota native is especially strong on the beam and the uneven bars. She’s a student at Auburn University, and she’ll be at home on a team of six: she has five siblings. Lee is the only Asian member of the team, and the first ever Hmong-American Olympic gymnast. Her road to the Olympics has exceptionally painful—Lee’s father had an accident that caused paralysis from the waste down. Two of her close family members died from COVID. She continued to practice even as the Olympics were postponed. She continued to hope for an Olympic spot even after she broke her foot in June 2020. In an interview with Elle, Lee’s father, her coach, and her fellow gymnasts credited her ability to compete without fear—to persevere in spite of every kind of pressure and setback. She is highly favored to medal at the games. Want to feel old? Like—old, old? Lee was born in 2003.
Chiles, the third-place finisher for Team USA, seems like she has it all: a puppy, a TikTok, a formidable shoe closet, and six no-fall meets in a row, according to Team USA. The 20-year-old Washingtonian moved to Houston to train at Biles’ home gym, where the two became close. Chiles, who is one of five siblings, has been outspoken about how meaningful it is to be a young, Black champion. “We are making a statement that no matter what color you are, no matter who you are, you can still do things that you love,” Chiles told USA Today, referring to the number of Black and Brown athletes who come out of the gym, which is owned by Biles’ parents. Chiles will attend UCLA after the Olympics, where she will likely have the best “What were you up to over the summer” story.
McCallum, 18, is, like Lee, a Minnesotan and one of six. McCallum has exceptional all-around ability—between the vault, uneven bars, floor, and beam, she doesn’t really have a weakness. ““I feel like a lot of people don’t know Grace,” Sarah Jantzi, McCallum’s coach, told USA Gymnastics in 2019. “They kind of think of her as this quiet person who kind of is in the shadows a lot in USA gymnastics, but I think they’re going to see the true force of her personality come out this next year.” Now, McCallum’s long-awaited introduction to the world is just around the corner.
Carey, 19, will compete as an individual in Tokyo. While she’ll still be a part of the Team USA family, she also represents her own family—her father, Brian Carey, coached her from diapers to the Olympics. Olympic Trial weekend wasn’t nail-biting for Carey the way it was for other gymnasts—the Arizonan had pre-qualified for a US Olympic spot by acing the another competition, the Apparatus World Series. Carey tends to turn out a flawless floor routine and is particularly strong on vault. After the Olympics, she’ll start her college career at the University of Oregon.
Skinner, 24, is a study of perseverance and hope: she served as an alternate on Team USA for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is at the older end of the gymnastics age range, and is married—her husband is YouTuber Jonas Harmer. Skinner came in fifth overall at this year’s Olympic Trials, missing being selected for the group competition, but nabbing the last individual spot. “I’m exactly where I need to be,” Skinner told a reporter for NBC, just before an explosive beam performance at the trials helped win her an Olympic spot. Landing with a confident “thwack!” on the mat after her routine, she let out a scream of joy. The University of Utah student will bring that power, and that sense of redemption, when she competes as an individual in Tokyo next month.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. You can follow her on Twitter.