TAMPA, Fla. — Gloria Chiles spent many nights on the edge of her seat this summer. Roughly 7,300 miles from Tokyo, seated at a watch party in Orlando, the proud grandmother smiled as Jordan Chiles showed the world what she could do.
“Oh, I was just going crazy. We all were. We were jumping up, turning around, and I one of the family members, they did a flip. I tell you, we were just crazy. We were just crazy. We were wild,” Chiles said.
Jordan, 20, competed for Team USA in gymnastics at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. Delayed for one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan finally was able to compete on the world stage for her country. She helped the USA win silver in the women’s artistic all-around event. It was her first career Olympic medal.
“This has been a long time, a long haul but it’s paid off,” her grandmother said.
Team USA led the world in Olympic medals at the 2020 Games. USA took home 113 medals from Tokyo, comfortably edging China’s 88. The United States topped the world in all three medal categories (39 gold, 41 silver, 33 bronze).
“My family, they’re all like, ‘Oh my goodness. You’re a silver medalist!’ and I’m like, ‘Yes I am!’” Jordan said, holding her silver medal during a post-Games interview with the Associated Press.
Gloria, who jokes that her new favorite color is silver, seemed to always know Jordan would wear a medal one day. She grew up dedicated to gymnastics at a very young age.
Her natural talent shined from her first moments on the mat and uneven bars.
To see her wearing ‘USA’ on her chest was special for Gloria, who hasn’t seen her granddaughter in person since November 2020. They plan to get together in October and Gloria hopes to slip on that silver medal.
“It’ll be wonderful. She says it’s real heavy,” Gloria chuckled. “I’m going to try to put it around my neck and see how heavy it is.”
Gloria has lived in Tampa since 2004. Jordan will go to UCLA in the fall.