KSL OLYMPICS

Shilese Jones Aims To Honor Father, Fulfill Lifelong Olympic Dreams

May 11, 2024, 4:04 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – Shilese Jones has faced her fair share of setbacks but nothing has affected her determination to complete her lifelong goal of competing in the Olympics.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Jones started her gymnastics journey at four years old and immediately started finding success.

Shilese’s parents, Sylvester Jones and Latrice Bryant, saw her dedication to the sport from a young age and helped her chase her dreams.

“I remember when she was maybe 11 or 12 years old,” Latrice Bryant said. “Her father bought her a whiteboard and he said this is a board that you can put your goals on. She put on that whiteboard, ‘I am going to the Olympics.'”

When Jones finished 10th in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Trials, she thought that her journey found its end.

With the support of her father, she changed her mindset and set her eyes on the 2024 Paris Games.

“I never really looked at trying for a second time,” Jones said. “It was actually my dad. He was like, ‘I’m going to believe in you that you can go to 2024.’ That’s when it clicked in. I can.”

Following her father’s passing, Jones moved back to Seattle to chase her dreams of being an Olympian.

The 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the next step for Jones. From June 27 to June 30, she will compete to avenge her 2021 shortcomings with a ticket to the Summer Olympics in Paris on the line.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Shilese Jones Aims To Honor Father, Fulfill Lifelong Olympic Dreams