Grace McCallum was one of the elite gymnasts named to the US women’s artistic gymnastics team heading to the summer Tokyo Olympics this summer. The 18-year-old from Minnesota came in fourth place at the 2021 Olympic Gymnastics Trials at the end of June and was subsequently added into the last two remaining spots on the four-person squad (Simone Biles and Sunisa Lee locked in their spots by finishing first and second in the all-around). Rounding out the team is Jordan Chiles, and they will be joined overseas by individual athletes MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey, who will not compete in the team final.
McCallum was the national balance beam bronze medalist this year and was a two-time team gold medalist at the World Championships. She mentioned in a USA Gymnastics press conference on July 12 that she couldn’t believe her name was called at Trials as part of the newly selected Olympic team. “I actually had to turn to my friend Jade [Carey] and was like, ‘Did they say my name?'” McCallum said. She competes her best when she’s having fun, she noted, so that’s a goal of hers in Tokyo: to enjoy herself.
McCallum actually sustained a boxer’s fracture in her hand at the start of 2021 that required surgery. She expected to have an eight-week recovery time, but she was set back a few weeks due to an infection in her pinky and other finger injuries. “I think the hardest part was getting my range of motion back, my hand strength back,” she said.
When fielding questions at that press conference specifically from POPSUGAR, McCallum said that other than doing well in the team final, she aims to qualify for, and medal in, at least one Olympic event final — two gymnasts per country make it — namely for floor. Past team names have ranged from the Magnificent Seven to the Final Five, and though she isn’t quite sure what their name will be, she said she’s excited to see what they come up with.
We can’t wait to watch McCallum in action overseas. Ahead, check out a few facts you might not know about her.
To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23 on NBC.