Home/Olympics
0
  Debate

Debate

Is MyKayla Skinner out of line criticizing Simone Biles' Paris Olympics team? What do you think?

“Not everyone needs a mic and a platform,” Simone Biles declared with a mic drop clap back at MyKayla Skinner. Despite their long friendship and two Olympic runs together, Simone didn’t hesitate to take a stand against the 2021 Tokyo Olympic vault silver medalist for her comments about Team USA’s gymnastics women set to compete in the Paris Olympics—including Biles herself.

Amidst the ongoing backlash directed at Mykayla Skinner from the gymnastics community, Vanessa Atler, the 1997 U.S. national all-around champion and 1998 Goodwill Games gold medalist, also chimed in, criticizing Skinner. Defending the 2024 Team USA heading to the Paris Olympics, which includes Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Suni Lee, Jade Carey, and Hezly Rivera, Atler didn’t mince her words, countering each of Mykayla Skinner’s comments.

She penned, “I don’t know what other people were watching but…. 1) I have never seen so much depth!” She shared her awe at the depth of the team despite multiple athletes being sidelined due to injuries. Vanessa Atler highlighted that even with these setbacks, the team remained strong and impressive. “2) Not as hard working as they used to be?? Are we kidding?” Atler again countered MyKayla and pointed out that four athletes from the last Olympic team had made comebacks despite injuries and illnesses, a feat that is incredibly challenging and proof of their blood, sweat, and tears.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vanessa Atler (@riverdarwin)

What’s your reaction?

Did Vanessa Atler just throw the ultimate shade at MyKayla Skinner? React!

Reactions

The veteran gymnast also noted the dedication of a young athlete who had earned her spot through hard work. “3) In Marta and Belas era we had athletes that were forced to work hard. Is that what we want? “ She argued that genuine desire and happiness among the current athletes were apparent, and she criticized any positive remarks about the Karolyis, viewing such sentiments as perpetuating a toxic environment in gymnastics.

Vanessa Atler wrapped up her thoughts with a final point, stating, “4) Lastly falls happen all the time at Trials, if not more. I think former athletes can all say “in my era” things were different, things were harder. You have no right to take the difficulty away from these athletes. You do not know what they have gone through personally and professionally.” In her concluding message, she said that Mykayla Skinner’s comments were petty and mean-spirited.

She then straightforwardly told Mykayla Skinner that she should learn from the example set by Paris Olympic athletes on how to treat and encourage other women in the sport. Reflecting on Vanessa Atler’s strong words, let’s take a look at the other voices from the gymnastics community who have spoken out against MyKayla Skinner.

How did the gymternet react alongside Simone Biles in the MyKayla Skinner drama?

In a now-deleted YouTube video, MyKayla Skinner voiced concerns about the talent and work ethic of Team USA women. Skinner also criticized SafeSport regulations for potentially softening athletes’ competitiveness. She even questioned how mistakes by gymnasts like Jordan Chiles and Suni Lee could still result in high rankings in the all-around standings. Furthermore, at one point in the video, she mispronounced Hezly Rivera’s name, the 16-year-old gymnast who will debut at the Paris Olympics. In her apology, she reflected on how things had changed since her time under Martha and Bela Karolyi as the team’s coordinators, which then only added fuel to the fire.

Her remarks sparked backlash from fans and fellow gymnasts alike, drawing responses from some of the biggest names in the sport. Jordan Chiles’ mother, Gina was one of the first people to speak out in defense of Team USA. Chiles’ mother reacted with a straightforward “Whoa. She really said that out loud and posted it. That’s something…” on X.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Chiles herself took to Instagram, sharing a post on her story that read, “Reasons why I’m not worried, 1. God.” Even U.S. gymnastics legend Kathy Johnson contributed her perspective to the stir-up, advising on X, “My advice is to focus on all the positive and special aspects of the Five Phoenixes. Let the unpleasant ‘turd’ lie in its own stinkiness. If the owner won’t clean it up after being asked, acknowledge it for what it is and avoid it. If you’ve encountered it, wash it off.” She stressed the importance of promoting positivity, maturity, and growth within the gymnastics community.

Dominique Moceanu, the retired US gymnastics legend who was part of the “Magnificent Seven,” also chimed in on the topic, discussing the pressures athletes face. Reflecting on her time under Bela and Marta Karolyi, she urged a shift towards prioritizing athletes’ mental and physical well-being over simply chasing medals. Moceanu stressed the need for coaches to nurture athletes in a balanced way to positively enhance their competitive spirit.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Even Hezly Rivera’s elder sister chimed in on social media with a clap back at Skinner, pointing out, “KIND OF FUNNY THAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE MY SISTER’S NAME, ESPECIALLY SINCE SHE WAS ON NATIONAL TV WHERE I’M SURE YOU HEARD THE COMMENTATORS SAY HER NAME CORRECTLY EVERY TIME. “

She added that this conflict arose despite MyKayla personally handing Hezly a medal at the 2018 Hopes Classic in Utah. What are your thoughts on the drama sparked by MyKayla Skinner’s comments and the backlash from the gymnastics community? Share your thoughts in the comments below!