Following Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the vault finals on Friday, MyKayla Skinner will be stepping in to compete for Team USA.
The 24-year-old gymnast shared the news on Instagram, posting two photos of herself posing in an white leotard adorned with red, white, and blue embellishments.
“Looks like I get to put a competition Leo on just one more time,” Skinner wrote in the caption. “Can’t wait to compete in vault finals. Doing this for us @simonebiles ❤️ It’s go time baby!”
TODAY’s Hoda Kotb gave some words of encouragement for the Olympic athlete in the comments section, writing, “Go get em mykayla!!!!!”
Hoda continued to share her support for Skinner in her own Instagram, posting a screenshot of a post from the official NBC Olympics Instagram account celebrating the news that Skinner would return to Olympic competition. In the caption, she shared one last note of encouragement ahead of the finals tomorrow.
“❤️🇺🇸❤️🇺🇸 go time!!!” she wrote. “You've got this!!! @mykaylaskinner2016.”
While Skinner did not initially qualify for the women’s individual all-around or vault events, her Olympic journey isn't done yet. Earlier this week, her teammate Biles withdrew from the team all-around final in addition to the individual all-around final due to a “case of the twisties.”
USA Gymnastics shared a statement on Twitter Friday announcing Biles’ decision to withdraw from the event finals for the vault and uneven bars.
“She will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether to compete in the finals for floor exercise and balance beam,” the statement read in part. “MyKayla Skinner, who had the fourth highest score in vault during qualifications, will compete in vault finals for the U.S. alongside Jade Carey, who finished with the second highest score.”
The message from USA Gymnastics continued, “We remain in awe of Simone, who continues to handle this situation with courage and grace, and all of the athletes who have stepped up during these unexpected circumstances.”
Skinner’s journey as an Olympic hopeful dates back to 2012. At the time, the gymnast didn’t earn a spot on Team USA for the 2012 London Games. Four years later, she became an alternate at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
When it came to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the athlete was unsure if she’d even be able to compete after being hospitalized with COVID-19 in December 2020. After two weeks, she was then diagnosed with pneumonia but was able to recover.
“I survived,” Skinner told Hoda after the Olympic trials in St. Louis, Missouri. “I mean, I wanted to give up so many times. I was like, ‘I don't even know if I can do this anymore.’”
Skinner credited her teammates Biles, Carey, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum for their support during that difficult period in her life.
The event finals for the vault and uneven bars is scheduled to air on NBCSN Sunday, Aug. 1 at 4 a.m. ET.