• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Who is MyKayla Skinner? Olympic vault silver medalist replaced Simone Biles in finals

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

MyKayla Skinner, the oldest gymnast on the United States' women's team, had a long road to the Tokyo Olympics.

It's a journey that took nearly a decade. Skinner wasn't selected to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials and then came a step closer in 2016, being chosen as an alternate for the Rio Games, but not an official spot on the team. Now, she has an Olympic silver medal.

When she had a chance to qualify for Tokyo this year, she placed fifth in the all-around and was named as the plus-one specialist. While she didn't participate in the team competition, she traveled with the U.S. to Tokyo as an individual competitor. She replaced Simone Biles in the vault final and won silver.

Biles did not compete in the vault or uneven bars finals.

The women's team captured the silver medal after Biles withdrew Tuesday because of mental health issues she says are resulting in "the twisties," a loss of air awareness.

NEVER MISS A MEDAL: Get exclusive coverage, latest news in our Olympic newsletter

TEXT WITH US IN TOKYO: Subscribe to texts, where we’ll be your official guide to the Games

MyKayla Skinner competes on the floor during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
MyKayla Skinner competes on the floor during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Get to know the rest of the Team USA gymnastics team:

What will MyKayla Skinner compete at?

Skinner competed in qualifying, but did not originally advance to event finals on vault or floor. After Biles pulled out of competition for the vault finals, MyKala replaced her in the competition. She did not compete in the team final because she qualified as an individual specialist to the Olympics.

When will Skinner compete?

Skinner competed in qualifications on July 25. She competed in the vault final on Aug. 1.

Where does MyKayla Skinner go to college?

Skinner is a student at the University of Utah where she's studying communications.

Is MyKayla Skinner returning to college?

Skinner announced on July 3 that she will retire from collegiate gymnastics following the Olympics.

She wrote on an Instagram post: “I will miss being a part of Utah Gymnastics and competing in the Huntsman Center, but there are things I want to do professionally and places my gymnastics can take me that won’t work as a college athlete, even with the recent rule change. More importantly, I am not getting any younger and my body definitely needs a rest after this last comeback."

She will be returning to Utah to complete her degree.

How tall is Skinner?

Skinner is 5 feet tall.

How old is Skinner?

Skinner is 24 years old, the oldest female U.S. gymnast competing in Tokyo.

Where is Skinner from?

Skinner was born in Gilbert, Arizona.

How many Olympic medals has Skinner won?

Skinner won one silver medal at the Tokyo Games.

While these are Skinner's first Olympics, she was part of the U.S. team that won gold at the 2014 world championships. She also won four gold medals at the 2014 Pan American Championships.

Skinner is also a two-time NCAA gold medalist. She won the floor exercise in 2017 and vault in 2018.

Who has the most Olympic medals?

Larisa Latynina holds the most Olympic gold medals for a gymnast. She won 18 medals, nine of which were gold from 1956–1964. Shannon Miller, who competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, won the most Olympic medals for the United States in women's gymnastics with seven.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MyKayla Skinner: Meet USA gymnast who replaced Simone Biles in vault