MyKayla Skinner‘s 2020 Tokyo Olympics weren’t over, she won a silver medal. The silver medalist revealed how Simone Biles’ advice helped her secure the big win.
Skinner competed on the vault after Biles pulled out of the competition due to mental health struggles. Skinner said that she “wasn’t expecting any of this to happen.”
“I was actually going to get on a plane to go home,” Skinner told Yahoo Sports. “… I was like [my teammates] are going to be fine, they are going to be good.”
Biles told USA Gymnastics to keep Skinner in Tokyo. Athletes are required to leave 48 hours after their final competition unless they are alternates. Skinner wasn’t sure if she would be needed but trained nonetheless.
“Simone was like, ‘Text MyKayla and tell her not to go home in case she has to step in,’” Skinner said. “She was on it like that.”
MyKayla’s Journey at the Olympics
Last week, Skinner didn’t qualify for the Olympics women’s individual all-round or vault events.
“It was devastating,” she said of her initial loss. “It took two days before I was like, ‘OK, I’m good, I did my best.’”
Just days later, she was going to return thanks to her teammate’s advice to stick around.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I am going to be competing again,’” Skinner continued. “To be able to change my mindset has been a little bit difficult.”
Skinner received a 6.0 difficulty and 9.033 execution on the Cheng. On the Amanar she scored a 5.8 on difficulty and 9 on execution. Overall, Skinner had a 14.916 combined score at the Olympics.
Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade scored 15.083 combined and took home the gold. Andrade became the first Brazilian to take home a gold medal in women’s gymnastics. Meanwhile, Seojeong Yeo of South Korea took bronze.
Following Skinner’s vaults, she waited to see how the eight other competitors did. Included in her competitors was teammate Jade Carey. Unfortunately, Carey stumbled while running to the vault and was off when she reached the board. Carey’s first attempt earned her an overall 11.933. She stepped out on her landing during her second attempt.
Carey was crying as she left the mat and was consoled by her team. She finished in last place with a combined score of 12.466. Carey is still set to compete in the floor final on Monday. She is going into the event being the second highest qualifying athlete behind Vanessa Ferrari from Italy.