Jade Carey’s mother was “delighted” that her daughter was given the chance to step in for Simone Biles in the Olympic Gymnastics women’s individual all-around final.
The 21-year-old gymnast – who is competing in her first Olympic Games – finished eighth in the event after taking Simone’s place in the Tokyo 2020 event after the American icon withdrew due to mental health concerns.
Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of Thursday’s (29.07.21) competition, Jade’s mother Danielle said: “I am grateful for this opportunity for Jade to show the world just how strong she is ! I have no doubt she will make us all proud!”
Asked to send a message to her daughter, Danielle added: “Have fun out there, and enjoy the experience of a lifetime! We are all rooting for you and Sunisa (Lee)!”
Simone thanked her fans for their “outpouring of love and support” after she pulled out of both team and individual events to focus on her mental health.
The four-time Olympic gold medallist says the overwhelmingly positive response to her decision has shown her that she is “more than my accomplishments and gymnastics”.
She wrote on Twitter: “the outpouring love & support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before. ()”
Simone will undergo daily evaluations to decide if she will return for her remaining events next week.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement: “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games in order to focus on her mental health.
“Simone will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not to participate in next week’s individual events finals.
“Jade Carey, who has the higher score in qualifications, will participate in her place.
“We wholeheartedly support the decision and applaud her bravery in prioritising her well-being.
“Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”