Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner's History Explained


Gymnasts Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinners History Explained

MyKayla Skinner and Simone Biles
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner had a history long before the retired gymnast’s controversial comments about Team USA’s work ethic.

“Besides Simone, I feel like the talent and the depth just isn’t what it used to be. I mean, obviously, a lot of girls don’t work as hard. The girls just don’t have the work ethic,” Skinner, 27, said in a since-deleted YouTube video late last month. “A lot of girls don’t work as hard.”

Skinner added that the U.S. Center for SafeSport, an independent organization responding “to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse” in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic movement, makes it harder for coaches to push their athletes to Olympic levels.

“Coaches can’t get on athletes which in some ways is really good but at the same time, to get to where you need to be in gymnastics you do have to be … a little aggressive, a little intense,” the Olympic silver medalist explained in June.

Skinner since apologized for her statements, saying she had been “misinterpreted” and “misunderstood,” adding that she “wasn’t always necessarily [talking] about the current team.”

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Before going for gold in the Olympics, Simone Biles overcame a childhood that wasn’t always easy. The gymnast spent nearly three years in foster care before her grandparents Ronald and Nellie Biles adopted her at the age of 6. Once she found a stable home in Texas, Simone discovered gymnastics and worked her way to […]

However, her comments prompted responses from several gymnasts who will represent Team USA at the 2024 Paris Olympics in July, including Biles, who appeared to respond to her former teammate as well.

“Not everyone needs a mic and a platform,” Biles wrote via Threads on Tuesday, July 3.

Biles was one of many gymnasts who testified against Larry Nassar, a USA Gymnastics doctor convicted of first-degree sexual assault. Nassar’s scandal, in which over 250 gymnasts accused him of sexual abuse under the guise of medical treatment, led to the U.S. Center for SafeSport being created.

Skinner retired from gymnastics in August 2021 following the Tokyo Olympics, for which she represented Team USA after Biles had to step away due to the “twisties.”

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The 2024 Olympic Games are drawing near, and five U.S. gymnasts just bought their tickets to Paris. After four days of trials, the women’s gymnastics team was officially revealed on June 30. Led by Olympic veteran Simone Biles, the power-packed team is ready to live up to their legacy. Alongside Biles is Tokyo’s reigning all-around […]

Keep scrolling to read more about Skinner and Biles’ history:

March 2015

Skinner placed second behind Biles at the 2015 AT&T American Cup, held in Arlington, Texas.

Gymnasts Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinners History Explained

Lauren Hernandez, MyKayla Skinner, Simone Biles, Ragan Smith (Back Row) Ashton Locklear, Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian, and Gabrielle Douglas
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

August 2016

Skinner traveled to Rio as an alternate while Biles won her first Olympic gold medals.

July 2019

Skinner returned to elite-level competition for the 2019 U.S. Classic, where she landed the second-highest vault score behind Biles.

August 2019

The gymnasts met again at the 2019 U.S. National Championships, where Biles and Skinner qualified for the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team, per USA Gymnastics.

September 2019

Skinner and Biles traveled to the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, along with teammates Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey.

Gymnasts Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinners History Explained

Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

June 2021

Biles, Skinner, McCallum, Carey, Chiles and Lee were all named to the U.S. Olympic Team following their performance at the National Championships.

“WE’RE GOING TO TOKYO🎉,” Biles wrote via Instagram at the time. “Such a surreal feeling. I can’t believe I made the olympic team for a 2nd time & I’m beyond excited to represent Team USA. So so proud of everyone – this is just the beginning of the journey. thanks for all the endless support & love. I couldn’t ask for better support 🖤.”

July 2021

Team USA competed at the Olympics in Tokyo, where Skinner took Biles’ place in the vault final when Biles dropped out due to the “twisties,” leading Skinner to take home the silver medal.

However, Skinner, who said the Tokyo Olympics would be her last before retirement, failed to move beyond the qualifying round for the all-around gymnastics final.

Biles went on to share a message of support for her teammate. “So proud of this one,” Biles wrote via her Instagram Story at the time. “No one understands the hard work and dedication it takes to come back from collegiate gymnastics and make an olympic team.”

“You did the damn thing! Thanks for reminding us that grandmas can do it too!” Biles added, joking that she and Skinner were the “oldest” gymnasts at the age of 24. “Thanks for keeping gym light hearted and fun! I love you Ms Olympian.”

Skinner responded to Biles in the comments, writing, “Don’t know what I would do without youuuu!!! Thanks sis.”

Gymnasts Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinners History Explained

Simone Biles and MyKayla Skinner
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

July 2024

Biles seemingly responded to controversial comments Skinner had made regarding Team USA and their work ethic. Skinner noted that “besides [Biles]” she felt that the “talent and the depth” of the gymnasts “just isn’t what it used to be.”

Biles seemingly responded via Threads, writing, “Not everyone needs a mic and a platform.”

Skinner later said her comments had been “misinterpreted” and “misunderstood,” adding she “wasn’t always necessarily [talking] about the current team.”





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