Local ties for family of Team USA gymnast Jade Carey

PITTSBURGH — A family in Vandergrift can’t stop beaming about their golden girl. Two cousins, two great-aunts and two great-uncles spoke to Channel 11 about their golden girl, gymnast Jade Carey.

Carey took the gold medal in the floor exercise in Tokyo on Monday. The family got up early to watch the competition.

“Awesome. Extremely exciting,” said Carey’s great-aunt Rose Yanko. “She was absolutely the most elegant person on the floor that I’ve ever seen. She is always o calm and I just knew she was going to win.”

“After she was done, I thought this is it. She won,” added Carey’s cousin Wendy McDivitt.

Carey lives in Arizona, but McDivitt grew up playing in Saltsburg with her cousin, Carey’s mom.

The family knew Carey had a great future in gymnastics. When she was 9-years-old she visited Yanko’s home.

“She did a cartwheel right through my door. She didn’t see the door. And I thought, this girl can really do cartwheels,” Yanko said with a laugh.

Carey competed in the floor exercise when Simone Biles dropped out. Biles was at the gym to cheer her on and told her, “let’s go out and kill floor.”

Before her routine, Carey’s father, who is her coach, told her today could be the best day of her life. It’s one thing to win gold, it’s another to get to share that with Dad.

Carey is also sharing that with her family back in Vandergrift, who wore t-shirts Carey gave them four years ago. On the front is a nickname “Jaderade” and on the shoulder is Carey’s autograph.

“The value of this t-shirt just went up,” McDivitt said.

Carey won the gold on her great-uncle Mike’s birthday. The family said plans are already underway for a parade in Arizona in Carey’s honor. They hope to be there.