MyKayla Skinner Dedicated Her Olympics Silver Medal to Teammate Simone Biles
"I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for her."
It would be an understatement to say MyKayla Skinner has been on a roller coaster since she touched down in Tokyo for the summer Olympics. After not qualifying for the individual all-around or apparatus finals, Skinner packed her bags, announced her retirement, and was *this close* to flying back home. Then, the unthinkable happened: Her teammate Simone Biles withdrew from all of her events minus beam in order to better focus on her mental health and prioritize her safety after suffering from the “twisties” during team finals. This meant Skinner had one more chance to leave it all out there on the mat, and that’s exactly what she did.
Following Biles’ withdrawal from vault finals, Skinner learned her scores from the qualifying rounds were good enough to advance her to the apparatus finals.
Her difficult vault routine scored a combined score of 14.916, earning her a spot on the podium and a silver medal.
Out of her respect and love for the GOAT, Skinner dedicated the medal and routine to her friend Biles, who was able to watch and cheer her on from the stands. “I dedicate this medal to Simone. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her,” she said, per NPR. “I told her I would be doing this one for her. She said, ‘don’t do it for me, do it for yourself’, so technically it’s for all of us.”
Skinner explained that being able to go out this way has been a huge blessing. To be able to medal, let alone compete in an event she wasn’t even originally scheduled to appear in has left Skinner feeling very “humbled” and grateful. “I didn’t think it was going to happen,” she continued. “I’ve worked very hard, took time off from college and was an alternate in [Rio] 2016.”
As she described it on Instagram, “unfinished business… FINISHED.” How’s that for closing out your gymnastics career?