PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon State University gymnast Jade Carey went against the grain a few weeks ago.

“I kind of figured ‘Why not?’ if it’s what’s working for me and what we think is best,” said Carey.

Unlike her counterparts Jordan Chiles and Suni Lee, who have opted to train in private gyms in prepping for the 2024 Olympics, Carey will stay in college and train with her team in Corvallis.

“It’s definitely different than what a lot of people are doing, but I just hope in the end that it can show people that you don’t have to choose a side, and you can do both if you really want to,” said Carey.

Carey’s decision makes sense when you put it into perspective.

The now 22-year-old committed to Oregon State when she was just 14. She then had to defer a year because of the Olympics being moved to 2021 due to COVID-19.

She had to wait so long to experience Oregon State that she now wants to take the experience in fully — and rep it fully as well.

“I’d been looking forward to coming here for so many years before I actually made it, so to represent this school on the biggest stage would be really cool,” said Carey.

Carey admits that she’ll scale back the number of events and competitions she competes in for Oregon State next year to give her body the best shot at the U.S. Olympic Trials, but that doesn’t mean she’s not passionate about another season in an OSU uniform.

After her squad didn’t make the cut for the NCAA Championships this past season, both she and her teammates are as ready as ever.

“I’m excited for next year, and I know the rest of the girls are too. They’re already in the gym talking about how we could be better, and how we want to get there again next year. That would be really cool to maybe do both next year,” she said of competing at the NCAA Championships and the Olympics.

You can see Jade is certainly not one to limit her dreams.

At 22, she’s considered older in the gymnastics world. She’s using that to fuel her for this next stage in her career in the best way possible.

“I think it shows a lot of younger gymnasts too that you don’t have to cap out at a certain age and if you love it and you’re healthy and doing well, then why not follow your dreams,” said Carey. “I think it would mean a lot to all of us to be able to make it and just show that and inspire all the little girls out there.”