After USA Gymnastics broke the news that Simone Biles wouldn’t be competing in the Summer Olympics finals for vault and uneven bars, people commended Biles' decision. The 24-year-old gymnast first withdrew from the individual all-around finals in Tokyo on Tuesday, July 27 to prioritize her mental health, revealing she’s experienced “the twisties.” Fans have continued to support her decision, and it looks like her USA teammate is also showing some bold support for the superstar gymnast. Shortly after the announcement hit the internet, MyKayla Skinner tweeted about replacing Simone Biles in the vault, and it was inspirational.
Skinner took to Twitter after USA Gymnastics announced that she’d be replacing Biles on Friday, July 30, and her tweet says it all. “Looks like I get to put a competition Leo on just one more time. Can’t wait to compete in vault finals. Doing this for us @Simone_Biles. It’s go time baby,” wrote Skinner. The gymnast, who came as an individual competitor for the 2021 Summer Olympics, didn’t place for any of the individual event finals and thought her journey at the games was pretty much over. She previously tweeted that she was “heartbroken” after she didn’t secure a spot for an individual event finals competition but remained in good spirits on her Twitter on July 25, thanking everyone for their support.
However, it looks like Skinner is getting a second chance now that she’s stepping in for Biles, and she’s showing her respect for her teammate.
The official statement from USA Gymnastics first revealed the situation on Twitter on Friday, July 30. “After further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the 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 began.
“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,” USA Gymnastics continued.
While it appears Skinner is proud of Biles for her decision to prioritize her mental health, the USA Gymnastics statement also showed its support for her. “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," the statement concluded.
ICYMI, Biles struggled with her vault routine on July 27, right before she announced that she’d withdraw from the individual all-around. At the time, she told reporters, “I have to do what’s right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardize my health and well-being.” Biles explained that she was dealing with the “twisties,” a phenomenon in gymnastics where an athlete loses their sense of space in mid-air during their routine. When answering fan questions on Instagram Stories, Biles wrote, “I have experienced [the twisties] before.” She continued to describe how it interferes with a routine, writing, “They’re not fun to deal with. It’s honestly petrifying trying to do a skill but not having your mind and body in sync. 10/10 do not recommend. [They] could be triggered by stress, I hear, but I’m also not sure how true that is.”
The unexpected change-ups in the Tokyo Olympics have continued to surprise sports fans. On top of the shockers, the games have been widely scrutinized because of COVID-related issues — Japan’s vaccination rate is incredibly low, and numerous athletes have tested positive.
At least it seems like Biles has made the right decision to continue to put her health first, and Skinner is ready to step up to the task for the vault finals and do Biles proud.