MyKayla Skinner says she was going to leave Tokyo Olympics
MyKayla Skinner won a silver medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics on Tokyo on Sunday, and the medal came as a big shock — especially to her.
Skinner was an extra member of the US women’s gymnastics team and not expected to represent the US in any events due to Olympic limitations. Simone Biles finished first in the vault in qualifying, with fellow Americans Jade Carey in second and Skinner in fourth. Skinner was limited by the two competitors per country rule and not expecting to compete in the vault finals. However, Biles’ withdrawal from competition gave Skinner the opportunity to compete.
The 24-year-old gymnast pulled off a stunning second-place finish to win silver in the vault, finishing ahead of Carey, who placed eighth. Skinner commented after winning her medal on how surprising it was. She says she was ready to fly home from the Olympics … until Biles’ withdrawal changed everything.
“This was seriously so unexpected,” Skinner told NBC. “I was actually going to take a flight home after team finals. So for me to be able to turn myself around, to be able to come out and finally compete for one last time was seriously so unreal. It was so exciting to be out there. Having this opportunity to win silver, it’s seriously just a dream come true.”
Skinner isn’t the only gymnast who benefited from Biles’ absence. Suni Lee won gold in the all-around and bronze in the uneven bars as well. This was a much better outcome for Skinner than flying home in a plane without a medal!
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 2, 2021