The MyKayla Skinner Foundation
Never Give Up...It has been an amazing journey for Olympic Silver medalist MyKayla Skinner!
At the Tokyo Olympics MyKayla nearly boarded a plane back home to Arizona. Her experience at the Olympic Games had ended, and so had her gymnastics career. She hadn't advanced to any finals, so she would forever be an Olympian, just not an Olympic medalist. At first, she was devastated. But after a couple of days, Skinner felt content and ready to dive into a life without gymnastics.
Then she received a text that her teammate and close friend Simone Biles knew needed to be sent quickly. DON'T LEAVE TOKYO! Biles had withdrawn from the team final and for the upcoming apparatus finals, Skinner realized her career wasn't over! Skinner was back in a leotard, stepping in as the alternate. One final moment in her career awaited.MyKayla had two more vaults to go with the chance to earn an Olympic medal. She had a solid performance, with just a hop on each of her landings. She waved as she walked off the podium - a goodbye to her career in a mostly empty arena - and then she waited. As the first gymnast to perform, Skinner had to watch seven competitors try to outscore her 14.916.
Only one gymnast, Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, earned a higher mark, so Skinner clinched the silver medal.
As she walked into the arena for the medal ceremony, Biles jumped up and down while pumping her fists in the stands.
"I'm just so honored that I never gave up and have kept pushing for my dreams to get here," Skinner said.
Those vaults marked the end of Skinner's winding path that ventured through elite gymnastics into college and back again. Her desire to perform on the Olympic stage never wavered, even after she walked onto the floor at the U.S. Olympic trials five years ago sobbing because she had been named only an alternate for the 2016 team.
The mission of the MyKayla Skinner Foundation is to support charities whose focus is pediatric cancer research.