Veteran Olympian, MyKala Skinner, faced a serious battle with COVID-19 last year that had her wondering if she would make it to next month’s Tokyo Games. Congratulations to Skinner, for she qualified for the Team USA women’s gymnastics team as of Monday.
In December, the young gymnast tested positive for the virus that has been taking the world by storm, which forced her to halt her training for the Olympic trials. Pausing training at such a crucial time left Skinner unsure if she would see Tokyo.
Skinner admits she wasn’t sure if she would make it to the Olympics
In an interview with Today, Skinner opened up with the statement, “I survived, but I wanted to give up so many times,” and even shared, “I was like, ‘I don’t even know if I can do this anymore.’ But I feel like just having these girls and my family having my back through it all has really helped me to get to where I am today.”
COVID-19 can have a serious effect on an athlete’s ability to perform. With shortness of breath being a highlighting component in symptoms, it can make it very difficult to exercise or partake in demanding body activities, which are largely the factors that contribute to professional athleticism.
Following the diagnosis, Skinner detailed to KSL Sports her process of recovery. “For two weeks I felt like I couldn’t move off the couch,” said the Utah native. She continued to explain, “I was sick, tired and exhausted. It was so weird having my body feel so weak, and there was nothing I could do about it.”
Undoubtedly, last winter must have been hard on the gymnast. Fortunately, after a demanding recovery and almost six weeks out of practice, Skinner was given the go-ahead to start training again.
Since the holidays, the athlete has been working very hard all the way up to the Olympic trials, which occurred from June 24- 27 in St. Louis, Missouri.
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Alongside fellow notable Olympians such as Simone Biles and Jade Carey, Skinner earned herself a position on Team USA.
Unlike typical Olympics, this year there will be four members of the six-member team performing rather than five. According to People, “the decision to reduce to four members was made in 2015 by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) as a way to narrow the competitive gap for smaller countries.”
Gymnastic fans can look forward to seeing MyKayla Skinner represent the United States next month in Tokyo, Japan.
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