MyKayla Skinner leaving Utah to pursue Olympic dreams

Utah gym - UCLA 5_1556214244320

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Two-time NCAA champion MyKayla Skinner of Utah announced today her intent to explore the possibility of a berth on the 2020 USA Gymnastics team.

If she doesn’t make the team, Skinner could return to Utah for her senior season.

She has been invited to participate in the National Team Camp in June. Skinner, an alternate on the five-person 2016 USA Olympic team, placed fourth in the all-around at the 2016 Olympic Trials. She was the 2016 Glasgow World Cup all-around champion.

“I love competing for the University of Utah and am so grateful to my coaches, teammates and the 15,000 fans who come and support us every (home) meet,” said Skinner. “In my three years at Utah, I have grown and matured as a gymnast, made improvements to my form and refined my technique. While I love college gymnastics, I’d like to try and compete for my country. I see the opportunity to pursue an Olympic berth as a chance of a lifetime. If things don’t work out for whatever the reason, I plan to return to the University of Utah for my senior year.”

“MyKayla is a world-class gymnast and we are supportive of her desire to test the waters of resuming her international career,” said Utah head coach Tom Farden. “She has the opportunity to participate in National Team Camp and qualify to the American Classic and beyond. The Classics will allow her to gauge if she wants to continue to pursue an Olympic berth. We are keeping a roster spot open for MyKayla should she wish to come back this fall. Obviously, we would love to have her back for her senior season.”

Skinner, a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection who carries a 3.78 cumulative grade point average in communication and had a 4.0 GPA in the 2018 fall semester, plans to finish her degree regardless of her Olympic aspirations. She is enrolled for the 2019 summer and fall semesters.

An NCAA champion on floor (2017) and vault (2018), Skinner was the NCAA all-around runner-up in both 2017 and 2018. At last weekend’s NCAA Championships, she placed in the top seven overall on vault, bars, floor and the all-around.

Along with a level of difficulty unprecedented in NCAA gymnastics, Skinner is unparalleled in her consistency in competition, performing a remarkable 161 consecutive routines before her first fall at the 2019 NCAA Regionals. In three seasons, she hit 166-of-167 routines. Incredibly, she did so while performing the most difficult routines in NCAA gymnastics history. Her signature skills included a Yurchenko double on vault and a double twisting double back on floor. Both are rarely performed in college gymnastics.

In addition to her two NCAA titles, Skinner won eight NCAA regional and seven Pac-12 individual titles while leading Utah to the NCAA Championships all three years. Her wins included three regional and two Pac-12 all-around titles. She set conference records for most career all-conference awards (14, tie), career Gymnast of the Week awards (16), single-season Gymnast of the Week awards (7, tie) and Freshman of the Week awards (6).

Skinner revised the Utah record books, becoming the school’s all-time leader in All-America awards with 26—13 at the NCAA Championships and 13 regular season honors. Of her 26 total All-America awards, 23 were first team. She earned 111 individual victories to rank third in school history and her 28 career all-around victories ranks second. She won a school-record 12 all-around competitions as a freshman in 2017 and her 43 overall wins in 2017 ranks second all-time at Utah. Skinner had 34 wins in both 2018 and 2019 for the eighth-best season totals by a Ute.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

How to Help During the Holidays

More Toys for Tots