MyKayla Skinner’s unlikely Olympic journey got its storybook ending on Sunday when the American took home silver in the individual vault final.
The 24-year-old gymnast was tapped to compete on vault after Simone Biles pulled out of the event, citing her mental health.
Skinner recorded a combined score of 14.916, just behind Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who won gold with a score of 15.083. Yeo Seo-jeong of South Korea rounded out the podium with a score of 14.733, earning a bronze medal.
Vaulting into Olympic history! 🇺🇸If you just woke up and checked your timeline, SMILE, MyKayla Skinner (@mykaylaskinner) just took home 🥈! Your talent and determination is truly inspiring! #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/YH6vumtdXW— USA Gymnastics (@USAGym) August 1, 2021
Vaulting into Olympic history! 🇺🇸If you just woke up and checked your timeline, SMILE, MyKayla Skinner (@mykaylaskinner) just took home 🥈! Your talent and determination is truly inspiring! #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/YH6vumtdXW
Falling short of the vault and floor finals during qualifying, Skinner initially thought the Tokyo preliminary competition marked the end of her gymnastics career.
Now, the American gymnast is going home with a silver medal. Skinner dedicated her second-place performance to Biles, telling her teammate via social media that she’s “doing this for us.”
“There have been so many times I’ve wanted to quit the last 2 years and throughout my entire gymnastics career,” Skinner wrote on Instagram on Sunday. “I don’t think most people know how hard this sport is on your body and mind. I’m grateful I never gave up and that so many of you never gave up on me. unfinished business… FINISHED.”
USA Gymnastics has yet to confirm whether Biles will compete in the individual balance beam final, her final opportunity to medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner2016)
A post shared by MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner2016)