GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Mykayla Skinner was wrapping up her Olympic career just a few days ago but now the Gilbert native might have another chance if Simone Biles opts out of the vault competition.
"If it's supposed to be Simone, and it's Simone's, then it's great; we'll support her. But if Mykayla gets that opportunity it'd be awesome," said Kym Skinner, Mykayla's mom.
She said there are quite a few things that could be weighing on the Olympic athletes, one of them being the COVID-19 restrictions.
"It's just different because they can't really ... kind of talk amongst themselves. But it's kind of, it's depressing. It's hard for them and they don't have their families. It's just really rough; no crowd. It's mostly media in the crowds, so very difficult," Skinner explained. "With the time difference I get calls at least once a night; she'll call our time during the day, maybe part of it, but it seems like she wakes us up almost every night. So, it's hard."
When it came to Simone Biles announcing she needed to step down for mental health reasons, Skinner said a lot of gymnastics is a mental game. "I think kind of what happened to her was she was having a hard time twisting. Like her mind, because it's muscle memory and mind, and if your mind--whatever happens doesn't--it's very difficult and it's not safe and I think that was a lot of it," Skinner said.
Now, Mykayla is on standby to see if Simone will compete in the vault. If she's not able to, Mykayla could be called up to compete again. "She was in the position of 'I'm done' and so it's kind of hard to go and not practice because they weren't having her practice. But since the turn of events, now she's back practicing because she could go in on vault if Simone decides that she can't do the vault," Skinner explained. "Her body and mind shuts down after a long run of doing this for weeks on end and now she has to start back. She wasn't practicing for two days, now she has to start back practicing, so I think it's going to be a little bit in her mind and a little bit physical. But she'll be able to do it."