Mykayla Skinner: Simone is “Ready to Do This”

Aug 2, 2021, 11:20 PM | Updated: 11:22 pm

TOKYO – After withdrawing from four events in the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles is back in the competition. She’ll participate in the individual balance beam final Tuesday night in Tokyo, an event she won a bronze medal in five years ago.

Biles has been open with her struggles so far in Japan, saying she’s felt immense pressure while battling with what gymnasts call “the twisties”. With her mind and body out of synch, she’s been working to return to competition for several days, while cheering on her teammates from the stands. Mykayla Skinner, who was able to compete in the vault finals due to Biles’ withdrawal says her teammate and friend is feeling better.

“Every day I’ve been talking to her. We’ve been trying to boost up her self-esteem and her confidence just a little bit because I’ve never seen her go through something like this,” Skinner told KSL TV’s Alex Cabrero on Monday morning.

Biles posted on Instagram over the weekend explaining how “the twisties” left her not knowing which way was up or down while she was twisting in the air. It’s a phenomenon many gymnasts have experienced and it can be mentally difficult as well as physically dangerous for a gymnast.

Biles’ beam routine requires significantly less twisting than the skills she performs on the other apparatuses, which may be why she did not pull out of this final competition.

“She’s really, really strong on beam,” Skinner said. “I know she’s been having difficulties with ‘the twisties’ and twisting and different things so I know she’s gone back and is trying to work a different beam dismount so I’m hoping that she’ll be confident in herself and be able to go out there and hit the beam routine of her life and hopefully take home a medal since she’s had to, you know, pass along these other events to different people.”

Skinner has been at Biles’ side in the stands during the other individual event finals, cheering on teammates Suni Lee and Jade Carey.

“I just can’t believe how well she’s dealing with everything,” said Skinner. “We’ve all just been cheering her on and every single day, you know, ‘How is it going? How was workout?’, and she’s like, ‘It was really good today. It’s getting better!’, so that’s really good to hear. She’s ready to go out there and do this.”


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