Topics: The U.S. Classic Is All About Who's Next - deadspin.com
With the exception of Olympic years when everything takes on heightened significance, the Classic always feels light on stakes. In 2013, Simone Biles completely choked at this meet, going 0-for-3. Her coach, Aimee Boorman, scratched from her last event, vault. “She just about tried to kill herself on her vault warm-up,” Boorman later told me. A month later, Biles won her first (of four) national titles and then in the fall of 2013, she became world champion. That biffed Classic didn’t really affect Biles’s competitive fortunes.
Unless you’re watching gymnastics at the Olympics or the world championships, you’re never really in the present moment; you’re always viewing with an eye towards the future. This is what happens when a sport exists on a four-year cycle.
Ditto for Jade Carey. With Biles on hiatus, there’s an opening for a vaulter/power gymnast and it looks like Carey, 17, will be filling in that role. Carey wasn’t even an elite gymnast until very recently. She was a Level 10 on track to compete in college—she has committed to Oregon State—when the national team staff came a’ knocking and invited her to the training camp at the Karolyi Ranch due to her vaulting prowess. At Classics, Carey showed two incredibly difficult, powerful vaults.