Tokyo Olympics: Grace McCallum comforted MyKayla Skinner during competition

MyKayla Skinner knew her finest probability to compete for a medal on the Tokyo Olympics was going to return on vault.

Vault was USA Gymnastics’ acknowledged cause as to why she was named an Olympian, and Skinner is, inarguably, the most effective vaulters on the planet.

So early Sunday morning, following the completion of her two vaults throughout Olympic qualification, Skinner sat uneasily on the ground at Ariake Area in Tokyo ready to see if she’d carried out sufficient.

After fellow U.S. gymnast Jade Carey nailed her first vault, Skinner’s dream of competing for a medal was in severe hazard, and when Carey did simply as effectively on her second vault, Skinner’s medaling dream got here crashing down.

In that second, Skinner couldn’t management her feelings, not fully, and tears welled up in her eyes for the world to see. Barring one thing fully surprising, her gymnastics profession was over. Simone Biles and Carey would advance to the vault occasion remaining and Skinner wouldn’t.

Standing alone whereas ready to maneuver on to the following occasion — uneven bars — Skinner was merely devastated. That was when her teammate Grace McCallum, an incoming gymnast on the University of Utah, supplied one of many extra touching moments of the the Olympics so far.

McCallum, who had her personal gymnastics to consider, approached Skinner and gave her a number of hugs in an effort to consolation her, saying repeatedly, “It’s going to be okay.”

Following their trade, Skinner would go on to have the most effective meets of her profession, incomes reward from numerous gymnastics insiders for her resilience within the face of bitter disappointment.

All through the competitors, McCallum, a member of the four-woman U.S. workforce, was usually the primary American gymnast to greet her teammates observe their routines, displaying help and enthusiasm.

After the Olympic trials in late June, McCallum described Skinner as being the American gymnast who was there for everybody on the workforce, noting, “It’s very nice to have MyKayla as a part of the workforce. She makes you’re feeling not so homesick. She’s so pleasant and caring, and makes certain you’re feeling comfy. She’s the mother of the group. She makes you’re feeling protected. I’m actually excited she’s on the workforce.”

On Sunday, she returned the favor. | Tokyo Olympics: Grace McCallum comforted MyKayla Skinner throughout competitors

Huynh Nguyen

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