TOKYO, Japan.— Mykayla Skinner will return to Utah with an Olympic silver medal, days after she was thought she’d have to come home empty-handed. She won her medal in the gymnastics individual competition in the vault event. World-renowned Simone Biles was supposed to contest the individual vault, however, Skinner stepped in after a mental block left Biles less confident of her skills and safety.
Team USA teammate and U of U teammate Grace McCallum won her Olympic silver medal in the Tokyo 2020 Games in the Gymnastics team event.
Skinner, 25, from Arizona, is one of three female gymnasts representing the U of U, all in their Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020. Kara Eaker tested positive for COVID – 19 early on in the Olympic Games.
Biles, in a pep talk to Skinner just before the silver-medal winning vault said, “Don’t do this for me, do this for you.” To which Skinner replied to Biles, “You know what, I’m doing this for us,” reports Hoda Kotb for the Today Show.
This silver and even just the basic opportunity to try for a medal of any color came as a surprise to Skinner, not unlike the fact that it would come in vault as she told Team USA that her favorite routine in gymnastics is actually the floor.
Biles is scheduled to return to competition during this Olympic meet tonight for the individual on the balance beam.