Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner to retire from college gymnastics, turn pro after Olympics

MyKayla Skinner. Photo Courtesy: Facebook/MyKayla Skinner

ST. LOUIS, Mo., July 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner has announced she will retire from college gymnastics and will go professional following the Tokyo Olympics this month.

Last Sunday night, it was announced that Utes gymnasts Skinner, Grace McCallum, and Kara Eaker would all head to the Tokyo Olympics after the Olympic Team Trials.

In a series of tweets Saturday, Skinner wrote: “I am so excited to compete in Tokyo in just a few weeks and I’m grateful for all of your support. I wanted to announce I will be going pro and not returning to compete in the NCAA. The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire.

“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. I have nothing but good things to say about Utah Gymnastics — the organization, the athletes, the fans, coach Tom and the staff.

“I will be returning to finish my degree and graduate at the U and will forever be a Red Rock. We have the best fan base in the nation and I’m happy to now transition into being a part of it.

“As one door closes, another opens, and I’m excited for what’s ahead. For now I am going to focus on bringing home a medal or two this summer for Team USA. I have a lot of hard work ahead and want to promise that the world has yet to see my best gymnastics.”

A news release from Utah of Utah Athletics announced the Olympic news.

“Incoming freshman McCallum earned a berth as a member of the four-gymnast Team USA squad, while Skinner collected her Olympic berth as an individual,” the news release said. “Lastly, incoming freshman Kara Eaker heads to Tokyo as an alternate to round out the three Utes.”

Utah’s trio of gymnasts all finished in the top-seven of the all-around standings following the June 27 competition, the news release said. McCallum finished fourth overall in the all-around (112.564) at the Olympic Team Trials to solidify her position on the team, while Skinner finished in fifth place (112.264) and Eaker placed seventh (111.097).

“McCallum’s consistency was displayed throughout the weekend as she finished fourth on floor, and fifth on the uneven bars and balance beam,” the news release said. “She posted the second-best floor score on the first day of competition and the third-best score on bars. With her consistency paying off, McCallum was one of two positions filled by the selection committee at the end of the night.”

Skinner will compete as an individual in Tokyo after placing second on vault at the Olympic Team Trials and seventh overall on floor.

Selected as an alternate, Eaker finished second on the balance beam. She also placed sixth overall on the floor to aid in her seventh-place finish in the all-around.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic competition schedule for the three Utah gymnasts is:

July 25 — Women’s qualification
July 27 — Women’s team final
July 29 — Women’s all-around final
Aug. 1 — Women’s vault and uneven bars final
Aug. 2 — Women’s floor exercise final
Aug. 3 — Women’s balance beam final

For updates on McCallum, Skinner and Eaker’s Olympic journeys, follow @Utahgymnastics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here