The November/December 2021 issue of Inside Gymnastics magazine celebrates 2020 Olympic silver medalist MyKayla Skinner! We go in-depth and inside Tokyo with MyKayla as she shares her memories, reflects on her love for gymnastics, what her journey has meant to her and her family, and so much more!

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Features Sneak Peek!

MyKayla Skinner – Memories For a Lifetime!

Seated on the floor during warmups for Simone Biles’ Athleta Presents Gold Over America Tour stop in Duluth, GA on October 26, I asked 2020 Olympic silver medalist MyKayla Skinner how she felt about having 13 days to go on tour. Without hesitation, she took a deep breath and I could see tears in her eyes. “This is kind of my closing chapter and I think the last show is really going to hit hard,” she said. “Being with the girls has been a blast. It’s making memories for a lifetime.” 

When I spoke with her 10 days later on an early morning in Philadelphia she dished on Tokyo – “It’s been a hot second since I’ve thought about it,” she said, – the tour, her teammates, USA Gymnastics, the mark she hopes to leave on the sport, and what she’s looking forward to most as her new story starts.  She was thoughtful, funny and extremely open. Most of all, she was reflective on what has made her stronger – what I would label as strength personified as much for her courage and character as her accomplishments…

Inside Gymnastics: Where were your emotions after putting up four of your best routines ever in prelims but falling short of finals?

MyKayla Skinner: I knew I went out there and had the meet of my life. I was really grateful to be able to have that opportunity, and be that example to so many girls around the world and show them anything is possible. I went out there. I did it. I got to compete in the Olympics. I was still so happy that I was able to do that. At times, it was a little rough and it was hard that I wasn’t going to be able to compete floor or vault again because I feel like internationally, I always have a shot at making those events. That night, I went back to my room, shed my tears and got it out. But, I also remember thinking to myself I did what I came here to do – to compete in the Olympics. I was an Olympian and no one could take that away from me. The next couple of days, knowing that made it a little bit easier. I never thought it would turn into what it turned into!

The Greatest of All-Time – Simone Biles Refines A New Definition of Success

Heading into the Tokyo Olympic Games, seven-time U.S. National All-Around Champion and defending Olympic Champion Simone Biles was dubbed by virtually all in the sport as the G.O.A.T., – Greatest of All Time. She embraced that moniker, even embroidering a goat image on her leotards. She’d earned it, after all. From winning streaks to medal count to name-bearing skills, Biles was dubbed super-human’ in the media, over and over.

Most who witnessed her journey were all aboard the GOAT train. Yet there were some – both before, during and after the Olympics – that scoffed at the notion. It’s interesting, – fans don’t bat an eye at athletes making bold statements or embracing their greatness in sports like football, baseball and basketball. But in gymnastics, it seemed to be too much for some, despite her record-breaking, trail-blazing ways…

…”Seeing her smile back (and her teammate Sunisa Leethe 2020 All-Around Champion, jump higher than anyone for her) was everything. It was the most picture perfect moment imaginable in a Games she was expected by some, to win six golds. Just by stepping on the podium today, she has forever distinguished herself not for what she has accomplished but for who she is. The fight she showed just to return to the final was an incredible achievement and a true testament to the Olympic motto – CitiusAltiusFortius – Faster, Higher, Stronger.”

Rebeca Andrade – Perseverance Personified

In Tokyo, Andrade did something no female Brazilian gymnast has ever done: stand atop the medal podium. And she did it not just once, but twice. First it was a silver in the All-Around final, followed by a gold on vault. With a performance and smile that radiates confidence and joy, Andrade became a national hero; a symbol of what can be achieved against the odds. More importantly, she sent a message to every young gymnast in Brazil: dream big and never give up, because in the end, anything is possible…

Plus!

All the stars and storylines from the 2021 World Championships!

Behind the scenes at former Iowa gymnast Michael McNamara as he returned to the stage of Cirque du Soleil’s famed Beatles LOVE production

Your 2021 Holiday Gift Guide!

+ All of our regular features including:

  • Chalking Up – Worlds By the Numbers
  • Breaking Down the Code – Brody Malone (USA)
  • Shannon Says with Shannon Miller
  • In the Know with John Roethlisberger
  • Meet the gymnast behind Chalk Boss!
  • & More!!!

Photos by Ricardo Bufolin for Inside Gymnastics

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