USA Gymnastics announced on Saturday that Simone Biles had withdrawn from the vault finals and that MyKayla Skinner would replace her

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Simone Biles has nothing but respect and admiration for MyKayla Skinner.

Although Skinner initially thought her Olympic journey had already ended after she failed to qualify for any event final, she ended up filling in for Biles after USA Gymnastics announced that she had withdrawn from the vault final. 

On Sunday, Skinner, 24, finished second behind Brazil's Rebeca Andrade in the women's gymnastics vault final — and Biles was on hand to cheer her on.

Afterwards, Biles — who has been dealing with air awareness issues and mental health pressures — gave her friend a shout-out on social media.

"GO @mykaylaskinner2016," she wrote on her Instagram Story alongside a shot of herself watching her pal from the stands. "I'm so freaking proud of you." 

Simone Biles
Credit: Simone Biles/Instagram

Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Skinner said that after her heartbreaking loss during qualifiers, it was Biles who urged her not to leave Tokyo.

"I was actually kind of going to get on a plane to go home," Skinner said. "I wasn't expecting any of this to happen. I was like, 'They're going to be fine [without me], they're going to be good.' And then, Simone was down on the floor after team finals and had told Cecile, like, 'You need to text MyKayla to make sure she doesn't go home in case she needs to step in.' "

Skinner, who found out on Saturday that she would be stepping in to replace Biles on the event final, added that it's helped to have Biles and the rest of the women's gymnastics team there in person to cheer her on. 

MyKayla Skinner and Simone Biles of Team United States pose for a picture during Women's Podium Training ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 22, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
MyKayla Skinner and Simone Biles
| Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty

"It was seriously cool to see her love and support and her cheering us on," she told reporters. "And I knew she was going to be the loudest one in there tonight because she's like, 'I want you to make podium. I want you to medal.' "

"She's just been so awesome in the last couple of days," Skinner continued. "And after everything she's gone through, it's really cool to see how strong she's being." 

MyKayla Skinner, simone biles
Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner
| Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty

Biles has since exited from every one of her event finals except the balance beam, which is scheduled for Tuesday. While Biles has yet to make a decision on if she will compete, Skinner thinks fans may still get to see her in action.

"I think so. Yes," she told reporters: "I don't know for sure. It's kind of up to her. So that's the game plan."

After her big win, Skinner also got another very important congratulations from husband Jonas Harmer.

"MyKayla is living proof that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. She set off on the Olympic route again 2 years ago chasing unfinished business from Rio 2016 and I've never seen more resilience in a human being," he wrote on Instagram. "The world has no idea all that this girl has been through... I have been so blessed to watch and be taught by her this whole time."

"The medal wasn't won tonight, but was won every morning when she got up and went to practice even though all parts of her body hurt. It was won every moment she didn't give up despite injuries, illness, postponement, and every setback in the books," he added. "Words can't describe how much she inspires and motivates me and how proud I am of her. For now I am excited to finally enjoy some alone time with my wife… Gymnastics has had its fair share for long enough now 😊 I love you MyKayla!" 

In her own loving reply, she commented, "Awe baby!!! Couldn't have won this medal without you. Can't wait to come home and see you. I just wanna give you the biggest hug. You have put your life on hold for me and have done everything to support me. I'm one lucky girl."

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.