Last weekend, US gymnast MyKayla SkinnerThe Olympic dream seemed to be coming to an abrupt end. But now she’s getting a second chance.
On Saturday, July 31st, her colleague and Olympic champion Simone Biles withdrew from the jumping and uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, days after she abandoned the women’s gymnastics team competition and the all-around individual finals, citing mental health problems.
Last weekend, MyKayla competed as an Olympian for the first time, as a lone fighter in the qualifying round, but didn’t rank high enough to make it to the final. The 24-year-old Arizona native wrote on Instagram that her loss meant she was “closing the book about my gymnastics career.” But following Simone’s recent departure announced by USA Gymnastics, MyKayla, who scored the fourth-highest score in the jump during qualifying, was brought back to take her colleague’s place in the finals. She paid tribute to Simone when she announced her comeback.
“Looks like I can just hold Leo one more contest,” she wrote on Instagram, alongside photos of herself posing in a white patriotic jersey and red jacket. “I can’t wait to compete in the Vault Finals. I’m doing that for us @simonebiles [red heart emoji] It’s time baby! “