MyKayla Skinner shared on her Instagram story Tuesday she isn’t leaving Tokyo just yet.
There’s a good reason.
ABC News reported that Skinner, the former University of Utah All-American gymnast, would replace USA teammate Simone Biles in the Tokyo Olympics individual vault final if Biles withdraws from the event finals. The women’s gymnastics vault final is scheduled for this Sunday.
This comes on the heels of Biles dropping out of the individual all-around competition “to focus on her mental health,” USA Gymnastics announced early Wednesday morning. Biles withdrew from the team finals after one event, and Team USA, including future Utah gymnast Grace McCallum, won the silver medal.
Which U.S. gymnasts would replace Simone Biles in competition?
The remaining women’s gymnastics competitions include the all-around final on Thursday, with individual event finals running Aug. 1-3. Biles had qualified to compete in every remaining event.
USA Gymnastics announced Jade Carey will replace the superstar Biles in the all-around final.
While Skinner would be Biles’ replacement in the individual vault final, ABC reported that no other Team USA gymnast could fill in on the floor, beam or bars competition.
Why is that? Per Olympics rules, eight gymnasts are chosen to participate in the event finals based off their scores in qualifications. There is a “two per” rule, though, that only two qualifying gymnasts per country may participate in each event final. In the Americans’ case, Skinner was the only U.S. gymnast who had a high enough score and would have qualified for event finals if not for the “two per” rule.
How MyKayla Skinner performed earlier in the Olympics
As an individual competitor for Team USA, Skinner took fourth among the Americans in the all-around during Olympic qualifications with a score of 55.398.
Skinner finished with the fourth-best overall score (14.933) on vault, her strongest event. But because she finished behind fellow Americans Biles and Carey, she failed to qualify for the event final under the “two per” rule.
That would change, though, if Biles pulls out of the competition.
On her Instagram story, Skinner showed a picture of her talking with her husband, Jonas Harmer, as the two discussed her staying in Tokyo for an extra week. “Only one more week!!!” Skinner wrote. “Super sad I don’t get to see you tomorrow. But ready to step in if I need to. Thanks for supporting all of us and me. See ya soon baby!”