MyKayla Skinner had two dreams this summer. First, she wanted to make it to the 2021 Olympic Games. She accomplished that mission by earning an individual spot to represent Team USA in Tokyo.
Her second goal was to medal at the Olympics. It looked like that dream would go unfulfilled after she failed to qualify for any of the event finals at the Summer Games.
However, after Simone Biles withdrew from the vault finals, Skinner was given a second chance. She replaced Biles in the vault competition as the top alternate and had a chance to compete for a medal.
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!
— MyKayla Skinner (Harmer) (@mykaylaskinner) July 31, 2021
She delivered in that opportunity.
MORE: MyKayla Skinner was set to leave Tokyo before replacing Simone Biles
MyKayla Skinner wins silver medal on vault
Skinner posted a 14.916 average on her two vaults, including a 15.033 that bested both of the numbers she put up during qualifying. Her performance was good enough to earn the silver medal, and she trailed the gold-medal winner, Rebeca Andrade, by just under 0.2 points at the end of the competition.
Skinner’s top-three finish marked the third straight medal for Team USA in the women’s vault finals. McKayla Maroney earned silver in 2012 while Simone Biles won gold in 2016.
The 24-year-old Skinner was praised for her performance by her United States teammates, and Suni Lee took time to congratulate her “grandma” for her achievement on Twitter.
The night wasn’t as kind to Skinner’s Team USA counterpart Jade Carey. The 21-year-old finished last in the vault finals after misstepping en route to her first vault. She still, amazingly, managed to land a Yurchenko tuck while protecting herself from injury and later performed a high-quality second vault. She will compete in the floor exercise final on Monday.
Canada’s Shallon Olsen finished just ahead of Carey. She logged a score of 13.066 on her two vaults.
|2||MyKayla Skinner||United Staes||14.916|
|8||Jade Carey||United States||12.416|
MORE: Suni Lee joins pantheon of great American gymnasts with gold-medal win
Suni Lee wins bronze medal on uneven bars
The other American woman in action on Sunday was Suni Lee. Fresh off a gold medal in the women’s all-around final, Lee was looking to earn another medal on the uneven bars. The bars are considered Lee’s best event, so she was among the favorites heading into the apparatus finals.
Lee had to sweat out the final half of the competition. She posted a 14.500 on the bars, 0.7 points lower than her 15.200 in qualifying, after failing to connect on a couple of her skills. That lowered her score, and as a result, she saw two gymnasts, China’s Lu Yufei and Germany’s Elisabeth Seitz, come within 0.1 points of it.
Ultimately though, Lee held on to earn the bronze-medal finish. The bronze marks her third medal of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, as she earned a silver in the team competition in addition to her all-around gold. The 18-year-old will look to add another medal to her collection during the balance beam final on Tuesday.
Belgium’s Nina Derwael and ROC’s Anastasiia Iliankova won the gold and silver respectively. Derwael’s win marked the first Olympic medal of her career. She was previously a two-time uneven bars world champion.
|3||Suni Lee||United States||14.500|
|6||Melania de Jesus dos Santos||France||14.033|