Skinner, who began competing at the age of five and began her elite career at the age of eleven, tells the media that her Summer Games experience went by “in the blink of an eye,” almost as if it “didn’t really happen.”
She recalls competing as an individual rather than as a part of Team USA, as well as the demands of performing on the greatest platform in the world during the women’s qualifying round, which she described as a “special night” that she hopes she “could relive again.”
MyKayla Skinner’s Olympic quest and gymnastics career came to an end when she failed to qualify as an individual participant and was forced to withdraw from the Games in Tokyo.
Skinner, a 24-year-old University of Utah athlete and the oldest member of the U.S. women’s team, got her first taste of the Olympics on Sunday when she competed as an individual in the qualifying round, but she came up short.
Skinner would have needed to finish in the top eight overall and be one of the top two American gymnasts to advance further in the competition.
The gymnast, however, finished 11th overall and was seen weeping after seeing her results.
“Heart broken,” the gymnast wrote on Twitter. “But feeling sooo humbled and blessed for the amazing performance I had tonight! You have all brought me to tears thanks for being my biggest cheerleaders! Love u all [kiss emoji] xoxo myk,” she continued with the hashtag “NeverGiveUp.”
Skinner wrote on Instagram, “The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire.”
Skinner was obliged to leave Tokyo within 48 hours due to rigorous pandemic regulations, and she was unable to cheer on her colleagues as they completed their Olympic adventure.
Skinner’s unsuccessful quest to become an Olympian was a long and arduous journey that culminated in a particularly trying year that saw the athlete suffer an Achilles injury and spend time in hospital with coronavirus-related pneumonia.
The Arizona native was passed over in the 2012 Olympic trials, and in 2016, she was only picked as an alternate for the Rio Olympics after failing to earn an official berth on Team USA.
Skinner wants to continue her broadcast journalism degree at the University of Utah now that gymnastics is behind her, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.