Shilese Jones fills the void for Simone Biles and Suni Lee at the US Gymnastics Championships.

TAMPA — A year ago, Shilese Jones she placed 10th in the Olympic trials, poured her heart out on Instagram and decided she was done with elite gymnastics.

After conversations with his loved ones, particularly his father, he changed his mind. Jones deferred enrollment at the University of Florida until 2024 because he has plans for the Paris Games.

The 20-year-old is off to a great start in this abbreviated Olympic cycle. He leads the overall standings after the first of two nights of competition at the US Championships.

“I’ve been dreaming about it,” he said. “It was beautiful.”

Jones, who has never been to the Olympics or world championships, led a field of world medalists. She scored 57.2 points, distancing the 17-year-old. Konnor McClain by eight tenths ahead of Sunday, when the national champions will be crowned.

Tokyo Olympic medalists jordanian chillies Y Jade Carey they are tied for third and fifth places, respectively, making a solid return to elite competition for the first time since the Games. Like Jones and McClain, they hope to be part of the five-woman team for the world championship this fall. That list will be named after an October draft camp.

GYMNASTICS NATIONALS: Results | broadcast schedule

Jones, who had the highest scores on the balance beam and floor exercise, called it the best performance of her career. The only full title in his USA Gymnastics biography came four years ago in a small matchup in his senior debut.

Now, she’s in position to become the oldest US women’s overall champion in more than 50 years. she can join simone bile as the only non-teenager to win nationals in that span.

Biles is on an indefinite break from competition. sunny leethe all-around gold medalist from Tokyo, is competing at the collegiate level and plans to return to the elite level next year.

Few American gymnasts get a second chance to make their first Olympic team. A bit about Jones’ journey:

Before last year’s Olympic Trials, he needed three to four months to recover from a car accident. While driving around a roundabout, Jones said someone hit the front of his car. He suffered a broken back and a broken foot.

She came back from that to place 10th in the Olympic trials. USA Gymnastics sent the top nine women to Tokyo, five team members and four alternates, plus Carey, who previously qualified. Jones was the top seed who stayed home.

“My heart has been torn in such a way that it refuses to heal itself,” Jones shared in a since-deleted Instagram post. “I have left everything to be where I am today.”

Five months later, Jones’s father, Wild, died after a long battle with kidney disease. In a GoFundMe to help with funeral and travel expenses, Jones wrote that it was his father’s “dream to see me on the Olympic stage one day and he dedicated everything to my gymnastics. Getting tired after a long day of dialysis to drive and pick myself up from practices. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to support my gymnastics.”

Six months after his death, he shared on Instagram an image of a tattoo on his shoulder that read: “Dad, your name echoes in my heartbeat.”

“These last 6 months have been the hardest of my life,” she wrote.

Jones’ family moved from Seattle to Ohio about eight years ago to support her gymnastics career. They returned to Washington in January to be closer to extended family. On Thursday, she wore a leotard with Roman numerals XII XX MMXXI written in pink on the sleeve, marking the day of Sylvester’s death.

“Just being here and having the opportunity to do that,” he said of his performances, three days after suffering an injury to his left big toe that stunted his preparation, “especially for my dad, my sister, my mom and the audience, it feels amazing.”

OlympicTalk is underway apple news. Favorite us!

Leave a Reply