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The new Olympic cycle has officially begun and black girl magic is on top. At USA Gymnastics’ annual Winter Cup 2022, three new stars landed at the top of the podium in Frisco, Texas, making history. It’s the first time in US gymnastics that all three all-around medals were earned by Black gymnasts at a major competition. Konner McClain, clutched the first, followed by Skye Blakely in second, and eMjae Frazier in third.
What a way to end Black History Month with these history-making athletes.
In individual event scoring, McLean smashed the balance beam, scoring a 14.600. Nola Matthews one uneven bars with 13.950. Frazier earned a 13.5 on floor, and Jocelyn Roberson a 13.125 on vault.
Both McClain and Blakely train at WOGA Gymnastics just north of Dallas.
Although Konner McClain competed in only two events, the 2021 Winter Cup marked McClain’s senior debut for USA Gymnastics. At last year’s competition, she earned the third-highest score on vault behind Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey, and in beam, she placed fourth behind Skye Blakely, Chiles, and Sunisa Lee.
Missing from the competition was World and Olympic Champion Simone Biles, and rightfully so. Biles, who earned the name the GOAT for being the world’s most decorated gymnast, recently said “Yes” to her sweetheart, NFL safety Jonathan Owens on Valentine’s Day. The is no word if the new soon-to-be Ms. Biles-Owens will return to the sport.
If there’s one thing Biles taught these new elites it’s to take care of one’s mental health. Each girl watered down their routines for safety and because it was early in the season. No need for a major injury before Paris, France which will host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Winter Cup is one of several USA Gymnastics events leading up to Nations and Worlds, and eventually the Olympic Trials.