Image Source: Getty / Mike Ehrmann
There’s one hashtag that keeps resurfacing as people talk about this weekend’s US Gymnastics Championships in Tampa, FL: #BlackGirlMagic. Elite gymnasts Konnor McClain, Shilese Jones, and Jordan Chiles won the top three spots in the senior all-around competition, making history as the first three Black women to sweep the podium.
This was 17-year-old McClain’s debut in the senior national competition, and she captured the top all-around spot in with a score of 112.750, as well as a balance beam gold, according to USA Gymnastics. Jones finished second in the all-around with 112.000 but also won golds in uneven bars and floor exercise. And Chiles landed just shy of Jones in the all-around with a third-place score of 111.900.
In a tweet that has now been retweeted by more than 2,000 people and liked almost 18,000 times, Cathryn Stout, PhD, wrote: “THIS is the legacy of Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Dominique Dawes and so many other trailblazers who trained and stood alone.”
“It’s so unreal,” McClain said on Sunday, as reported by NBC Sports. She persevered through a tough summer, including stress fractures in both shins, a concussion, and the flu, which she just had a few weeks ago. “I’m still in shock a little bit.”
Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Chiles and gold medalist Jade Carey also made history as the first US Olympic women gymnasts to return to elite competition after a season of college gymnastics. Carey also finished fifth overall and snagged her second US vault title.
At the end of the competition, the 2022-23 Senior Women’s National Team was named, including McClain, Jones, Chiles, Carey, Skye Blakely, Kayla DiCello, Elle Mueller, and Lexi Zeiss. Watch some of McClain’s gold medal-winning performance below.