Utah gymnasts MyKayla Skinner and Grace McCallum heading to Tokyo Olympics

Japan 2020

MyKayla Skinner competes on the balance beam during the women’s U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Sunday, June 27, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(ABC4) – MyKayla Skinner and Grace McCallum are heading to the Tokyo Olympics.

Skinner, who served as an alternate on the 2016 Olympic team, qualified for the 2021 games as a specialist, finishing fifth in the all-around competition at the U.S. Olympic Trials in St. Louis.

“It was so emotional,” Skinner said after the announcement. “It was just so intense, especially going back to 2016. So I was just trying to have positive vibes. But all my hard work has paid off, so thank you to everybody.”

McCallum, an incoming freshman, finished fourth and earned one of the top-four all-around spots on the team.

“I’m just so excited and I feel super blessed,” McCallum said. “It’s just an honor and it’s just amazing.”

Kara Eaker, a fellow Red Rock, will serve as an alternate.

Skinner was a two-time NCAA champion and two-time NCAA all-around runner up at Utah. She also holds the NCAA record for consecutive routines without a fall at 161. She is a school-record 26-time All-American.

She also battled through various injuries and contracting COVID-19, to earn a spot on the team.

McCallum’s consistency was displayed throughout the weekend as she finished fourth on floor, and fifth on the uneven bars and balance beam. She posted the second-best floor score on the first day of competition and the third-best score on bars Sunday night. With her consistency paying off, McCallum was one of two positions filled by the selection committee at the end of the night.  

Skinner, who made the decision to put her college career on hold and return to elite gymnastics for this exact moment, will compete as an individual in Tokyo after shining on vault and floor particularly. Skinner placed second on vault at the Olympic Team Trials and seventh overall on floor to earn an individual spot and complete her dream to become an Olympian.

Simone Biles, the reigning Olympic and world gymnastics champion, landed the top spot in Sunday’s trials, while Sunisa Lee finished second and Jordan Chiles third.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic competition schedule for women’s gymnastics is:

  • July 25 – Women’s Qualification
  • July 27 – Women’s team final
  • July 29 – Women’s all-around final
  • Aug. 1 – Women’s vault & uneven bars final
  • Aug. 2 – Women’s floor exercise final
  • Aug. 3 – Women’s balance beam final

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