Gymnast MyKayla Skinner makes Team USA for world championships

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) MyKayla Skinner competes on the balance beam for Utah, in the PAC-12 Gymnastics Championships at the Maverik Center, Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Utah gymnast MyKayla Skinner, who won’t compete in college gymnastics in 2020 as she pursues a spot on the 2020 Olympic team, took another big step in the realization of her Olympic dream when she was announced as a member of the 2019 Women’s World Championships gymnastics team.

She, along with Simone Biles, Jade Carey, Kara Eaker, Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum, will represent the U.S. at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, Oct. 4-13.

Morgan Hurd and Leanne Wong were named the non-traveling alternates.

Skinner won’t compete for the Utes in 2019 as she focuses on her Olympic pursuit but has stated she wants to return for her senior year following the Olympics. Notable for the Utes is both Eaker and McCallum, who are juniors in high school, have committed to Utah and should sign with the Utes in November of 2020.

The team was announced following the conclusion of the World Team Selection Camp that was held in Sarasota, Fl., over the weekend.

Biles was automatically named to the team following the all-around competition on Sunday where she posted a 58.55, Lee took second with a 58.20 followed by Eaker (57.1), Skinner (56.05), Carey (55.9) and McCallum (55.55).

Utah gymnastics coach Tom Farden was thrilled that Skinner made the team, even though she has been practicing at the elite level for only a few months.

“I’m speechless,” he said. “It speaks volumes of her work ethic in regards to the way she has upped her difficulty and skill execution. It speaks volumes to her drive and attitude.”

As she was known to do at Utah, Skinner had a huge day when the pressure was highest, finishing third on vault, fifth on floor, sixth on bars and eight on the balance beam out of the 13 competing in the selection came on Sunday.

“This is a huge step for her,” Farden said of Skinner’s Olympic bid. “This is the second largest venue you have to be seen other than the Olympics.”

Skinner, an alternate to the 2016 Olympic team, was one of the most successful gymnasts the Utes have had, finishing as the NCAA all-around runner-up in 2017 and 2018. Her 111 career victories rank second in school history and her seven Pac-12 conference wins are tied for second in conference history.

She competed in the 2014 World Championships, helping the U.S. win the gold medal while earning a bronze medal in the vault and placing fourth in the floor exercise. She was an alternate to the 2015 World Championships team.

Return to Story