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Gymnast Jade Carey says she will accept individual Olympic spot, ending speculation

Gymnast Jade Carey, 21, secured a nominative spot for the Tokyo Olympics last year, but still plans to compete at Olympic Trials next week. (Usa Today Sports)

American gymnast Jade Carey plans to accept her individual spot for the Tokyo Olympics, she said in a social media post Tuesday. That ends speculation as to whether she would still try to make the four-woman U.S. squad for the Olympic team competition at next week's Olympic Trials.

The top two finishers at Trials automatically qualify for the team contest. With Carey's unique situation, the U.S. risked bringing fewer gymnasts to Tokyo than the maximum six spots qualified, because Carey's nominative spot could not be filled by another individual if she instead competed with the team.

Carey, 21, mathematically clinched her spot in April 2020 through a new qualification route offered by the International Gymnastics Federation via its apparatus World Cup series.

"I have every intention to accept the individual spot that I worked very hard to earn by competing in the Apparatus World Cup Series spanning from 2018-2020 when officially offered to me," Carey wrote in an Instagram post. “My focus right now is preparing to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and being able to contribute to Team USA in any way possible."

View social media post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQKPBgxjMPX/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=35c991e8-c553-469d-be77-e8965c606d50

Carey fueled speculation about her plans to try to make the team competition -- which would likely increase her chances of earning a gold medal in Tokyo -- back in April. 

"I am planning on going to [Olympic] trials, so we'll just see how it goes there," Carey said at the USOPC Media Summit. "And ultimately, it's up to the committee to decide."

When asked about the situation at the recent U.S. Gymnastics Championships, National Team High Performance Director Tom Forster said that the choice would be Carey's if she earned an automatic team spot at Trials. 

"If she finishes in the top two, she will have to make a decision," said Forster. "If she forgoes the individual spot and takes the team spot, it would be up to her."

U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials are taking place June 24-27 in St. Louis. All sessions will be televised live on either NBC or NBCSN, and can streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App. Any Trials coverage on NBCSN can also be streamed on Peacock.

In addition to the regular broadcast, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will offer the option of watching an apparatus feed.