MyKayla Skinner’s Olympic journey and gymnastics career came to an abrupt end in Tokyo when she failed to qualify as an individual competitor and was forced to bow out of the Games.
Skinner, a 24-year-old University of Utah athlete and the oldest member of the United States’ women’s team, got her first shot at the Olympics on Sunday when she performed as an individual competitor in the qualifying round and fell short.
In order to continue in the competition, Skinner would’ve needed to place in the top eight overall and be one of the top two American gymnasts.
However, the gymnast ended up coming in eleventh overall and was spotted crying when she saw her scores, ESPN reported.
“Heart broken,” the gymnast later 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.”
Earlier this month, Skinner wrote on Instagram “The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire.”
Due to strict pandemic protocols, Skinner was forced to leave the country within 48 hours and wasn’t able to stick around and cheer on her teammates as they continued their Olympic journey Tuesday, NBC reported.
Skinner’s failed bid to become an Olympian has been a long and difficult road that was capped off with a particularly grueling year that left the athlete with an injured achilles and hospitalized with coronavirus-related pneumonia.
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The Arizona native was passed over in the 2012 Olympic trials and in 2016, she didn’t get an official spot on Team USA and was only chosen as an alternate ahead of the Rio Olympics.
With gymnastics in the rearview mirror, Skinner plans to finish her broadcast journalism degree at the University of Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.