MyKayla Skinner, Simone Biles
Source: Instagram

MyKayla Skinner's Olympic Gymnastics Journey May Not Be Over Just Yet

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Jul. 28 2021, Published 1:31 p.m. ET

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles shocked the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games when she withdrew during the women's gymnastics team final citing mental health reasons.

The 24-year-old gymnast, who has been dubbed the GOAT of the elite sport, struggled on the vault rotation during the competition. During a press conference post-meet, Simone revealed that she got "lost in the air" while attempting an Amanar vault (2 1/2 twist) and instead completed a lower-scoring Yurchenko (1 1/2 twist) vault.

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"I just felt like it would be a little bit better to take a back seat, work on my mindfulness," Simone said during a press conference when asked about her reason for withdrawing from the team final. "And I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job. And I didn't want to risk the team a medal for kind of my screwups, because they've worked way too hard for that." The U.S. took home a silver medal in the team final and the ROC won gold.

Simone Biles
Source: Getty
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Though the team final is behind her, Simone has made the decision not to compete in the individual all-around competition, which takes place on Thursday, July 29. So, will gymnast MyKayla Skinner take her place?

Can MyKayla Skinner compete in the all-around final?

The simple answer is no. But that doesn't mean MyKayla's Olympic journey is over just yet.

During the gymnastics qualifying round, MyKayla competed as an individual for the U.S., alongside Jade Carey. As a result, their scores did not count towards the team's overall score, but the two gymnasts could land a spot to compete in the individual all-around final or on the different apparatuses: beam, bars, vault, and floor.

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Because of the two-person rule that states that only two athletes from each country are allowed to compete, MyKayla was shut out.

The 24-year-old athlete was hoping to land a spot to compete on the vault or floor as a specialist but ranked lower among her teammates Simone and Jade.

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"Heartbroken is an understatement, but I am proud of myself for getting here after everything I’ve been through. I would have loved for my scores to count for the team and I would have loved to compete in event finals but I still did some of my best gymnastics here as an Olympian and that’s something no one can take away from me," the athlete wrote in a lengthy Instagram statement. "I am humbled by the experiences I’ve had and hope I can continue to be a light for others fighting their own battles."

Now that Simone announced that she has withdrawn from the individual all-around competition, Jade will take her spot since she was the third-highest scoring athlete from the U.S.

At this time, Simone has not confirmed if she will compete in the individual event competitions. The GOAT is scheduled to compete on all four apparatuses. However, if Simone does withdraw from the vault event finals, MyKayla is next in line. So, would she compete?

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MyKayla Skinner's coach hasn't ruled out the athlete competing in vault finals.

If Simone withdraws from the vault finals, the former University of Utah gymnast would be the next athlete in line to compete.

In a text to The Salt Lake Tribune, MyKayla's coach, Lisa Spini, commented on whether the athlete is still training. "We'll decide today," she said.

Additionally, MyKayla posted an Instagram Story revealing that she had canceled her flight home from Tokyo.

MyKayla Skinner
Source: Instagram

"Super sad I don't get to see you tomorrow," she replied to her husband Jonas Harmer's Instagram post. But ready to step in if I need to. Thanks for supporting all of us and me. See ya soon baby!"

The women's gymnastics Olympic vault finals are scheduled to take place on Sunday, Aug. 1.

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