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Why the US sent 6 women gymnasts to the Olympics, not 5

The U.S. sent five men and six women to the Tokyo Olympics to compete in gymnastics. Here's how the women picked up an extra spot.

The U.S. sent five men and six women to the Tokyo Olympics in gymnastics. The reason why an extra woman is there is because she worked to earn her spot outside of July's Olympic trials.

Jade Carey qualified for Tokyo by earning an individual invite due to how she has performed in the Apparatus World Cup Series over the past three years. She did not need to be one of the top finishers at trials. But, she did ultimately lose a chance to be part of the team competition.

The top two finishers at trials -- Simone Biles and Suni Lee -- earned automatic spots to the Olympics as well as in the team competition. Two more gymnasts -- Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum -- were selected by committee to be part of the team competition. All four will also be able to compete individually in the all-around and apparatus finals.

Mykayla Skinner was also a committee selection following trials, but she will only compete in the individual events, not the team competition.

Carey, thanks to her performance in the Apparatus World Cup Series, will also be an individual competitor like Skinner. But there was controversy before trials. If she had been placed in the team competition, that extra slot she earned would have been forfeited. The U.S. would have only sent five gymnasts.

Carey posted on Instagram a week before trials she intended to go to Tokyo as an individual.

"I have every intention to accept the individual spot that I worked very hard to earn by competing in the Apparatus World Cup Series spanning from 2018-2020 when officially offered to me," she wrote on June 15.

Carey finished 16th at trials, but that should not be considered a reflection of her ability. She reportedly watered down her routines on the first day of trials and she skipped two events on the second day.

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