Fingers crossed, Arizonans could be cheering on two local gymnasts at this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. Jade Carey and Riley McCusker, who are training at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center in Phoenix, are expected to compete at the June 24-27 Olympic Trials in St. Louis, Missouri, and may go on to Tokyo.
Carey, 21, graduated from Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale and is best known for her powerful and high-difficulty vault and floor exercise. On vault, she is the 2017 and 2019 World Silver Medalist, 2019 World Champion Team Member, 2018 Pan American Champion and 2017 United States National Champion. Carey was offered a full-ride scholarship to Oregon State University, which she has deferred in order to train full time for the Olympics.
McCusker, 19, is a five-time member of the United States Women’s National Gymnastics Team. She is the 2019 Pan American Games and 2017 United States National Uneven Bars Champion. She was also a 2018 World Champion Team Member. McCusker was offered a full-ride scholarship to the University of Florida, but has also deferred in order to train full time for the Olympics. McCusker was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to Arizona in 2020 to train with Carey at Arizona Sunrays. Her former New Jersey coach, Maggie Haney, was suspended for eight years by USA Gymnastics for verbally and emotionally abusing gymnasts.
A selection committee will determine who is competing at the Olympic Trials following the U.S. Gymnastics Championships June 3-6 in Fort Worth, Texas, where both Carey and McCusker are competing. Arizona Sunrays is taking donations to help these young women cover the cost of flights, hotels and meals on their Olympic journey at arizonasunrays.com
Arizona Sunrays is celebrating its 30th year in business in the Valley; it offers gymnastics, dance and NinjaZone classes for all ages, as well as classes for children with special needs, an accredited preschool and a summer day camp. The gym has two locations: 15801 N. 32nd St. and 3923 E. Indian School Road in Phoenix.