“In Tears”: Overcoming Tragic Loss, Shilese Jones Pays Heartfelt Tribute to Her Biggest Supporter

Shilese Jones has repeatedly demonstrated resilience and unwavering determination. Despite struggling with injuries that sidelined her from competition for nearly 10 months, she made a triumphant comeback into gymnastics in August, starting with the Core Hydration Classic. From the Classics to the 2023 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Shilese Jones has proven to be a formidable contender. She closely trailed behind Simone Biles, with only a slight margin between them.

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Then, at the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Jones showcased her mettle. She secured a gold medal with Team USA in the team finals. In the All-Around Finals, she earned a bronze medal. Once again, in the uneven bars finals, she secured another bronze medal. These remarkable victories, however, came with their fair share of challenges. Jones had to overcome significant losses and heartbreak along the way. Recently, she opened up about her journey of overcoming tragic loss and paid tribute to her strongest supporter.

Shilese Jones opens up about the loss of her favorite person


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In a recent interview with TODAY, Shilese Jones was asked how she manages to bounce back despite injuries and life’s adversities. She mentioned her strong determination and how she embraces challenges. However, one moment stood out during the interview when she said, “Anything it takes from here to 2024, I’m in for it. I’ve had my dad pass away in the last few years, and I just feel like this is a big steppingstone for me.”

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When asked about what her dad would think watching her shine, she replied, “Yes, he would honestly be in tears, really. He would never cry, but he’s so proud of me. I’ve worked so hard. Like I said, I’ve been training since I was four years old, so to really have it around my neck and be up there on the podium with my team meant so much”. Shilese Jones has always emphasized that it was her father’s dream for her to grace the Olympic stage.

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The Olympics dream

Shilese Jones had her sights set on the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Just before the trials were set to begin, she was involved in a terrible car accident that left her with a back injury. This significantly impacted her training. When she did participate in the trials, she fell just one spot short of making it to the team. Adding to her challenges, in December 2021, her father, Sylvester Jones, passed away after a long and arduous battle with kidney disease.


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Shi was heartbroken and even contemplated quitting gymnastics. However, after careful consideration, she knew she had to honor her father’s dream. With the 2024 Paris Olympics on the horizon, Shi Jones regained her focus. As she mentioned in her interview, she is prepared to face all obstacles.


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At the 2023 Xfinity U.S. Gymnastics Championships, she paid a heartfelt tribute to her father, affectionately referring to him as her “guardian angel.” This journey of resilience and determination makes her comeback even more special. Fans eagerly anticipate her journey to Paris next year and the opportunity to make her most significant supporter, her father, proud.

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