MyKayla Skinner has finally achieved her dream of being an Olympic medalist. Her path wasn’t the easiest, but she never gave up, and we couldn’t be happier for her!
In 2016, MyKayla was an alternate for the women’s gymnastics team in Rio. She desperately wanted to compete in the Olympics and decided to give it one last chance. It is incredibly hard to come back to Elite gymnastics after competing at the collegiate level, and it was even harder after the games were postponed. But she did it! At 24 years old, she is the oldest women’s gymnast (a few months older than Simone) and has gotten the nickname of “Olympic Grandma.”
In the qualifying rounds, MyKayla did her best with a solid floor routine and two vaults, but she didn’t advance to the event finals. She was fourth in the entire world on vault, but she was the third highest-scoring American. (Will the Olympic committee ever consider getting rid of this two-per-country rule? It’s so unfair.) Obviously, she was excited to still have the title of “Miss Olympian,” but she definitely wanted to compete in an event final. It looked like her Olympics, and gymnastics career, were over and that was heartbreaking.
Then Simone announced she wasn’t going to compete in the vault finals, and MyKayla would be replacing her. She went from almost flying home to competing in the vault finals. Talk about a whirlwind of emotions. Before the finals, she posted on her Instagram that she was doing this for her and Simone. We LOVE seeing these women supporting each other and cheering everyone on!
MyKayla went first, and her two vaults were beautiful. Then she had to play the waiting game to see if her score was good enough to medal. We were so nervous for her. But finally, after waiting years, she finished in second place! She FINALLY got her silver medal, and her dream has been accomplished. As she said on Instagram “unfinished business… FINISHED”.
Her path to becoming an Olympic medalist was anything but normal. The craziest things have happened in these games, but she showed that you should never give up and never stop working toward your dreams.
Also, we want to mention that her makeup and hair have looked outstanding at these Olympics. Maybe she can do a YouTube tutorial soon?
We can’t wait to see what MyKayla decides to do now that she’s retiring from gymnastics. We do know she’ll be on Simone’s Gold Over America Tour, and after that…. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. But no matter what happens, she will definitely remember the Tokyo Olympics for the rest of her life.