Make It Six: The U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Is World Champs Again
by Chrös McDougall
Jade Carey competes on the floor exercise during the women's team final at the 2022 Gymnastics World Championships on Nov. 1, 2022 in Liverpool, England.
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team is back on top of the world. One year after slipping to a team silver medal at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the Americans were back atop the podium for their sixth consecutive team title Monday at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool, England.
The U.S. team of Skye Blakely, Shilese Jones, Leanne Wong and Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles led the competition wire to wire to score 166.564 points, beating second-place Great Britain by 3.201. Canada took the team bronze medal, finishing 6.001 behind the Americans.
In doing so, the U.S. secured its spot in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and established a record winning streak. Since the team event became part of the world championships in 1934, only Romania between 1994 and 2001 had won five straight titles before the U.S. matched the feat in 2019. Now the U.S. has broken that record having won every world team title since 2011. During that span, the U.S. also won Olympic gold medals in 2012 and ’16 and a silver in Tokyo.
The team world title is the second for Carey, who was also a member of the winning 2019 U.S. team. She also has three world championships medals in individual events, to go along with her Olympic gold medal last year (Carey was not part of the U.S. team in Tokyo).
Though Chiles has an Olympic silver medal from Tokyo, she is making her world championships debut in Liverpool, as are Blakely and Jones. Wong won the all-around silver medal and balance beam bronze medal at last year’s world championships, which did not include a team competition.
Carey (Oregon State), Chiles (UCLA) and Wong (Florida) all returned to elite gymnastics this summer after completing their freshman season in the NCAA in 2021-22.
In the team finals, each country puts up three gymnasts per event, and all three scores count. That ups the pressure from qualifying, when each team has four routines per event and can drop the lowest score.
The U.S. dominance began from the first rotation, where Jones, Chiles and Carey each hit their difficult vaults to put up a combined score of 43.133 and give the team a nearly half-point lead over Great Britain.
Moving onto uneven bars, Wong, Chiles and Jones scored a combined 42.199 to add to the lead.
The lone U.S. mistake of the day came in the third rotation, when Blakely fell off the beam. But Chiles, who had uncharacteristically struggled in qualifying and fallen off twice, nailed her routine from the anchor spot to keep Team USA on top.
Going into the final rotation with a 2.2-point lead over Great Britain, the Americans ended the way they started with a powerful 1-2-3 punch on floor exercise. After Jones hit her routine to open, the U.S. turned to Carey, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the event, before Chiles closed things out with her Lizzo-inspired routine.
On the four events, the U.S. posted the highest combined score on three. The long exception was beam, where Italy and Canada both edged the Americans.
Tuesday’s team final was the last event in Liverpool for Wong, but the other four U.S. women will all be competing in event finals in the coming days. Jones and Carey will represent the U.S. in Thursday’s all-around final. Over the weekend, Carey and Chiles are both in floor and vault finals, while Jones qualified on bars and Blakely will have a shot at redemption on beam.
The world championships continue Wednesday with the men’s team final. The U.S. men, looking for their first team medal at a global championship since 2014, qualified in third place.