The two vaults MyKayla Skinner performed at last year’s Olympic finals in Tokyo were over in seconds—but their combined result proved life-defining for the Latter-day Saint gymnast.
Prior to the Aug. 1, 2021, Olympics women’s vault finals, Skinner had long been classified as an elite international athlete and a “medal hopeful.”
But when her second-place finish was announced, she graduated to rarefied company that holds no expiration date: Olympic medalist.
Church News readers have long followed the gymnastics career of the Arizona-born, lifelong Church member—stretching back to her teenage days as a Team USA alternate on the 2016 Olympics squad, then as a decorated All-American collegiate at the University of Utah and, finally, as an Olympic medalist who became one of the biggest stars of the Tokyo Summer Games.
Her Latter-day Saint fans also appreciate that Skinner is as comfortable talking about her religious beliefs as she is breaking down her performances on the balance beam or uneven bars.
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