US Olympic Gymnastics Star Confirms Official Retirement at 25

Published 08/02/2022, 8:15 AM EDT

The unprecedented withdrawal of Simone Biles from the Tokyo Olympics was a major point of discussion at the event. While the incident gave way to discussing a much bigger problem at hand, it also allowed one gymnast to redeem herself. MyKayla Skinner, who was packed and ready to head back home, got called into action to replace the greatest gymnast of all time. Not only did Skinner come in at a tough time, but she also delivered the performance of a lifetime.

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Biles’ fellow gymnast has since retired from collegiate and elite level gymnastics. MyKayla recently took to Instagram to recall the glorious moment and provide further affirmation over her retirement.

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MyKayla Skinner recalls her Olympic triumph

Over a year ago, the ‘twisties’ came to haunt Simone Biles, rendering her unable to compete at the Tokyo Games. But Biles’ teammate MyKayla Skinner jumped into the action and came home with a silver medal. Skinner was all packed up and ready to head back home before being called into action. The gymnast had failed to qualify for the finals after finishing fourth in the qualifying round. After the Tokyo Games concluded, Skinner announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics.

A year since the achievement, Skinner posted a series of photos remembering the day. She also clarified her retirement status. She wrote, “Can’t believe it’s been one year since this amazing day happened. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the future and just wanted to let everyone know I’m officially retired and happy with how my gymnastics journey ended.”

Skinner also thanked all the people who believed in her. She thanked her coaches and family members for their years of dedication. “Thanks to my coaches for being the best in the world and carrying me through the finish line. Thanks to my family, who spent years helping me get to where I wanted to be. And for my husband who sacrificed a few years of his life so I could live my dream.”

Skinner dedicated her medal to Simone Biles

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A disheartened MyKayla had announced her retirement after not being able to qualify for the finals in the Olympics. But Biles’ withdrawal meant she had enough points to qualify and take her place. It gave her a shot at redemption, and Skinner took it with open arms.

October 1, 2019, Stuttgart, Germany: SIMONE BILES and MYKAYLA SKINNER share a laugh during the podium training in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle in Stuttgart, Germany. (Credit Image: © Amy Sanderson/ZUMA Wire) (Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

The gymnast was not ungrateful about the opportunity. Skinner expressed her gratitude and told Biles she would be doing it for her. After winning the medal, MyKayla said, “I dedicate this medal to Simone. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for her. I told her I would be doing this one for her. She said, ‘don’t do it for me, do it for yourself,’ so technically, it’s for all of us.”

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WATCH THIS STORY: Simone Biles’ Height Compared to MyKayla Skinner, Suni Lee, Jade Carey and Other Gymnastics Star

As Mykayla represented the US team on the mat, Simone lovingly cheered her from the sidelines. It was the perfect example of sportsmanship and team spirit. Although Skinner’s Olympics journey took a rocky path, it ended with a glorious finish.

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Naman Gopal Srivastava

325 articles

Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.

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