Former U of U gymnast Mykala Skinner wins Olympic silver in Toyko Olympics days after nearly heading home; thanks supporters in video

Gymnast Mykayla Skinner wins the silver metal for vaulting at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo courtesy: University of Utah gymnastics

TOKYO, Aug. 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Former Ute gymnast Mykayla Skinner has vaulted her way to an Olympic silver medal on the first night of event finals at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Skinner, 24, had finished fourth on the women’s vault in the qualification round, which meant she didn’t make the Top 3 cut, and was prepared to fly home with her Olympic medaling dream dashed.

“Heart broken but feeling sooo humbled and blessed for the amazing performance I had tonight!,” Skinner tweeted after learning she didn’t make Top 3. “You have all brought me to tears thanks for being my biggest cheerleaders! Love u all”

But before Skinner could leave, top American gymnast Simone Biles announced Tuesday that she was withdrawing from competition on her fifth event, and has since withdrawn from several other events.

Prior to her formal announcement, Biles reportedly asked someone to text Skinner and stop her from leaving. According to reports, Biles stepped back in order to care for her mental health.

Since then, Biles has cheered for Skinner from the stands.

In the Olympic vault competition, Skinner, a Gilbert, Arizona native, posted scores of 15.033 and 14.800 on her two vaults for a combined 14.916 to collect her silver medal.

The gold medal went to Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade, who recorded a 15.083 for the win. The Bronze metal went to South Korea’s Seojeong Yeo.

Team USA gymnast Mykayla Skinner (L), stands on stage with Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade (C) and South Korea’s Seojeong Yeo at the presentation ceremony for the women’s vault final at the 2020 Summer Games on Sunday in Tokyo. Photo by Richard Ellis/UPI

“The silver medal for Skinner on vault rounds out an incredible journey back to elite competition and her Olympic debut,” a statement from U of U Gymnastics says.

The team also issued a jubilant tweet.

“You heard that right,” the tweet says. “@Mykaylaskinner earns silver for her incredible efforts in the vault finals! Your red rock family is so thrilled for you!”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox retweeted the message from U of U Gymnastics. And Utah Sen. Mitt Romney shared a message of congratulations:

“Congratulations to former @UtahGymnastics athlete @mykaylaskinner! Your incredible story proves that determination and grit pays off in the end. You make us proud.”

Team USA was giddy as well.

“What an ending for Myk,” it tweeted.

And Team USA followed up with a “Delivered big time” tweet for Skinner, which included a message from the new medalist herself. View Skinner’s full message below.

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