Grace McCallum, Suni Lee head over heels over their Olympic bids

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Grace McCallum wanted nothing more than to hear her name called Sunday night, when the members of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team were revealed. When it happened, she had to ask if she heard it correctly.

"I was kind of in shock," McCallum said. "I was like, 'Wait. Did he just say my name?' I turned to Jade [Carey], and I asked her, because I couldn't believe it."

A day later, McCallum and fellow Minnesotan Suni Lee barely had time to reflect on their new status. Both were named to the Olympic team late Sunday, at the conclusion of the Olympic trials in St. Louis.

Lee, of St. Paul, and McCallum, of Isanti, ended the night standing on a stage, with indoor fireworks exploding over their heads and streamers floating down from the ceiling. Hours later, they got their first taste of life as Olympians. They joined the two other team members, Simone Biles and Jordan Chiles, for a whirlwind day Monday: up early for a "Today Show" appearance, followed by a team celebration, a photo shoot and interview sessions.

All will be back in their gyms this week to resume training toward the Tokyo Games, which begin July 23. Lee hopes to add a fourth tumbling pass to her floor exercise for the Olympics. McCallum is working on a new uneven bars routine and could upgrade some skills on other events before the Games.

Monday, McCallum and Lee allowed themselves time to savor a moment that was years in the making.

"They called Suni, Simone and Jordan first, and there was just one more spot," said McCallum, among the athletes chosen by a selection committee. "My heart was racing. When they announced my name, I was like, 'Oh, my gosh.' It was unreal.

"Earlier this year, I had a hand injury where I had to get surgery. I thought my Olympic dreams were gone. It's been a long, long process."

Both 18 years old, Lee and McCallum are the youngest of the four women who will tackle the team competition at the Olympics. Biles, 24, is the only returnee from the 2016 Rio Games. Chiles, 20, trains at Biles' Texas gym and is a newcomer to major international competition.

Carey, 21, and MyKayla Skinner, 24, will compete as individuals in Tokyo.

Biles and Lee finished 1-2 in the all-around at the Olympic trials to grab the automatic Olympic berths awarded to the two highest-scoring gymnasts. Carey already had earned an individual spot. The other three athletes were picked by a committee, and McCallum said she wasn't clear on how they would choose, leaving her unsure whether her fourth place in the all-around would be enough to get her on the team.

The committee ended up going strictly by order of finish. McCallum edged Skinner by .300 of a point for fourth.

Biles was disappointed in a performance that fell short of her usual perfection. The four-time Olympic gold medalist and 19-time world champion made costly mistakes on three events Sunday. Though she earned the highest two-day total, her Sunday all-around score was second-best to Lee.

"Anything other than my best will tick me off," Biles said Monday. "We had a huge crowd, and I wanted to give them my best performance. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case."

Biles said she typically moves on quickly from less-than-ideal days, and she is eager to get back to work before heading to Tokyo next month. Lee, who was not looking closely at the scoreboard Sunday, still had a hard time believing she bested the champ. "It's never going to happen again," she said, laughing.

The only disappointment Lee had was that she was unable to meet up with her parents before they left St. Louis to return home to St. Paul.

"It's so surreal to say I'm an Olympian now," she said. "I've been working toward this for so long."

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