2020 Tokyo Olympics: MyKayla Skinner Says Simone Biles Told Her to Stay in Japan, Believes She Will Compete in Final Event

by Madison Miller

For Team USA Gymnastics in Tokyo this year, there’s been plenty of obstacles to overcome.

The greatest gymnast of all time, Simone Biles, dropped out in the middle of the team’s all-around competition toward the beginning of the competition. Then, she also dropped out of the individual all-around, for which she was the reigning gold medal champion.

The beam is the last event on the schedule. Biles has been incredibly open about her mental health and how competing in this state of mind would possibly lead to an injury. She has what is called “twisties” in gymnastics, which is when you lose awareness of where you are in the air.

Luckily, she’s had an amazing support system by her side throughout this all. Not only foes that include countless people watching at home and aspiring athletes all around the globe, but also her friends on Team USA.

MyKayla Skinner Fills In

According to People, when Biles decided that she needed to drop out of the team all-around event, she was quick to text her friend MyKayla Skinner. She quickly told her not to leave Tokyo because there was a very large chance that she would be replacing her in several events.

Skinner stepped in as Biles replacement on the vault event and walked away with a silver medal. She initially failed to qualify for any of the event finals. Skinner told news outlets that she was “heartbroken” over the ending to her gymnastics career.

“I was actually kind of going to get on a plane to go home … wasn’t expecting any of this to happen … And then, Simone was down on the floor after team finals and had told Cecile, like, ‘You need to text MyKayla to make sure she doesn’t go home in case she needs to step in,'” MyKayla Skinner told reporters.

Simone Biles Possibly Competing on Bars

She found out that Saturday that she would be competing in Biles’ place alongside Jade Carey. The beam event is still scheduled for Tuesday and there’s a possibility Biles may compete.

“Seriously, every day she’s been laughing, giggling, super supportive and, I mean, I’m sure when she gets home it’ll probably hit her more, but since she’s around all of us and she’s still probably going to be competing … But honestly, she’s been the happiest person and I’m so grateful to see after everything she’s been through that she’s making the best of it,” Skinner said.

The world-class gymnast has just been a spectator for most of the Olympics Game. However, her presence has been incredibly strong and encouraging. Through and through, Biles is a team player.

“I just don’t even know how I’ve been able to, you know, push through this and do what I’ve been able to do and just to be able to handle all the pressure and be able to go out there and compete and just do this for Simone … It was seriously cool to see her love and support and her cheering us on. And I knew she was going to be the loudest one in there tonight because she’s like, ‘I want you to make podium. I want you to medal,'” Skinner also said.

It’s still unclear if Biles will compete at all, she will make that decision this week. However, the U.S. gymnastics ‘ tenacity and togetherness have again greatly impacted millions of people watching.