MyKayla Skinner 'Wanted to Give Up' After Battling COVID-19 Before Making Olympic Gymnastics Team
MyKayla Skinner was named to Team USA's gymnastics squad as an individual on Sunday
MyKayla Skinner says her personal battle with coronavirus had her wondering if she could make it to the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Luckily, she never gave up and just secured her spot on Team USA's women's gymnastics team.
"I survived, but I wanted to give up so many times," the 24-year-old said of grappling with COVID-19 back in December during an interview with Today's Hoda Kotb that aired Monday. Skinner continued, "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."
After testing positive for the coronavirus on Dec. 12, the athlete — who was an alternate for the 2016 gymnastics team — was forced to pause her training for the Olympic trials.
Nearly six weeks later, the athlete told Salt Lake City outlet KSL Sports that her body was still recovering. "For two weeks I felt like I couldn't move off the couch," the athlete explained. "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."
Now, Skinner is performing at the highest level and heading to Tokyo. Skinner will join gymnast Jade Carey to compete in the Summer Games as individuals. Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum secured spots on the team.
The six gymnasts were selected on Sunday during the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials, which ran from June 24 to 27 in St. Louis, Missouri.
For previous Olympic Summer Games, gymnastics teams consisted of five members. However, 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. Thus, in Tokyo, countries will be competing with four team members and two individual spots.
Kayla DiCello, Kara Eaker, Leanne Wong, and Emma Malabuyo were selected as the replacement athletes who will still travel to Tokyo for the Olympics after Sunday's trials.
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Fellow gymnasts Brody Malone, Yul Moldauer, Shane Wiskus, and Sam Mikulak secured their spots on the U.S. Men's Olympic Gymnastics Team after their trials concluded on Saturday.
To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23rd on NBC.