By Lila Baltman
Photos Courtesy of Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center

Dozens of excited, cheering teammates waving tiny American flags recently had their chance to celebrate and pose for a photo with Phoenix Olympic gold medalist Jade Carey at Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center. The North 32nd area gym hosted a private celebration for Carey to honor her extraordinary performance in the recent Tokyo Olympics.

Several local dignitaries attended to offer their personal congratulations: Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, Tempe Vice Mayor Randy Keating, former Arizona State Senator Steve Smith, and Congressman Greg Stanton.

Mayor Gallego was first to speak, proclaiming August 17 “Jade Carey Day” in the city of Phoenix. Then came Tempe Vice Mayor Randy Keating, who proclaimed it “Jade Carey Recognition Day” in Tempe.

Carey, 21, will now attend Oregon State University where she will begin competing for their women’s gymnastics team.

Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics & Dance Center, owned by Julie Witenstein, was founded in 1990 and has two Valley locations: 15801 N. 32nd Street and 3923 E. Indian School Road. The gymnastics center on 32nd Street is where Carey trained for the past four years and was coached by her dad, Brian Carey, and team director, Pam Evans.