Grace McCallum is one of the gymnasts competing for Team USA at the Olympics in Tokyo. She has the support of a large family in Minnesota cheering her on.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Grace McCallum & Her Five Siblings Were Raised In a Small Town in Minnesota
The city’s Chamber of Commerce showed its support before the Olympics started. The organization made a poster for local businesses to print out and display in their shops. City officials also posted on Facebook that Isanti was proud of McCallum.
2. Grace McCallum’s Parents Would Drive Her 45 Minutes to the Gym, Sometimes Twice a Day
Grace McCallum’s family sacrificed a lot of time to support their daughter’s Olympic dreams. CBS Minnesota reported in November 2018 that her gym was a 45-minute drive away from their home in Isanti. That meant a lot of driving for her parents, especially when she had two practices per day.
Her mother, Sandy McCallum, told the TV station that figuring out how to get each of their six children to various activities was a feat. “It’s a lot of shuffling. We always have to have a strategic plan in place for who is taking this kid there, who is taking this kid there, and we always make sure that one of us is there for all of their activities. If not both of us. You just prioritize,” Sandy McCallum said.
Grace McCallum has expressed gratitude for her family’s support through her gymnastics journey. After the Olympics are over, she’s headed to the University of Utah. When she signed with the team in November 2020, she wrote on Instagram, “So excited to officially be a Utah Ute! I can’t thank my family and coaches enough for everything they’ve done for me. Thank you for all of your love and support. Go Utes!” One of the pictures she posted featured her three brothers and one of her sisters as they made the Utah “U” with their hands, Elle reported.
3. The McCallum Family Practices Roman Catholicism
Grace McCallum was raised Roman Catholic. The family belongs to the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Isanti, according to the Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.
Her faith is an integral part of Grace’s life, according to her mother. Sandy McCallum told the magazine in 2019 that after Grace dislocated her elbow and needed surgery, the support from the church community was vital for her daughter. “It’s just amazing all the people who have reached out to us and said, ‘We’re praying for her. And honestly and truly, I don’t think that Grace could ask for anything more,” Sandy explained. “Nothing probably means more to her than having everybody praying for her. It’s a tough sport, mentally and physically.”
Grace McCallum carries a rosary and a cross that her grandmother gave her in her backpack. Her mother told the Central Minnesota Catholic, “She travels with those things to kind of bring her peace and calm. Grace won’t travel anywhere without them.”
4. Grace McCallum’s Mother Is a Licensed Chiropractor & Her Father Worked in Transportation
Grace McCallum’s mother works in the medical field, according to a search of online records. She’s listed on the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners website as a “Doctor of Chiropractic.” Her profile notes that she obtained her license in 1997 and renewed it at the beginning of 2021.
Edward McCallum worked in the transportation industry. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s website shows he owned a business called Sharp Delivery Service, Inc. He registered with the state in 1992. But the business dissolved in February 2020. According to Quick TSI, Edward McCallum worked alone. The website notes that Sharp Delivery Service had one truck and one driver, and that he moved “general freight” and “metal sheet.”
5. Grace McCallum’s Mom Let Her Get a Dog After Earning a Spot on the World Championships Team
Gymnastics served as the catalyst behind getting Hazel. According to NBC Sports, Grace made a deal with her mother in early 2018: If she made the world championships team, she could get a dog.
Sandy McCallum told NBC she was skeptical of her daughter’s chances because Grace was still recovering from elbow surgery at the time. “I never expected her to make the team. She likes to prove that she can do things. She doesn’t need people feeling bad for her.”
Grace did ultimately make the team that year and she was the second-youngest gymnast on the team. She adopted Hazel, a German Shepard-husky mix, in late 2018.