Gymnast on U.S. National Team Shares How Prayer, the Gospel Are Helping Her on Path to the Olympics

by | Aug. 19, 2019

FunMormon Life

“Having God close by has really helped me to keep going and get answers,” MyKayla Skinner said. “The challenges in life can get so hard at times. But I feel like you can’t give up until the very end. You have to keep pushing for those goals and dreams.” 

Sports fans go nuts listing and comparing and debating those seemingly unbreakable streaks: 

The New York Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio got a hit in 56 consecutive games—a Major League Baseball record that stands almost eight decades later.

Hockey’s The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, scored points in 51 straight games and prizefighter Sugar Ray Robinson won 91 consecutive bouts over an eight-year period.

But you can aptly add MyKayla Skinner’s “161” to that list of iconic streaks. That’s how many times the Latter-day Saint athlete performed individual events in college competition (including the balance beam, uneven bars and the vault) without taking a fall.

It’s a streak that may outlast DiMaggio’s.

So what happened just seconds into Skinner’s opening routine on the balance beam on the concluding day (Aug. 11) of the 2019 U.S. Gymnastics National Championships?

She stumbled and fell.

Story by Jason Swensen; lead image of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials from Getty Images.
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