MyKayla Skinner to retire after Tokyo Olympics

By Mackenzie Brooks | July 3, 2021
MyKayla Skinner
MyKayla Skinner competes during day two of the 2021 US Olympic Trials for gymnastics. (© Amy Sanderson)

Team USA’s newly-minted specialist for the 2020 Olympics, MyKayla Skinner, has announced that the Tokyo Games will mark the end of her gymnastics career, and she will not be returning to Utah for her senior season.

Skinner competed at the University of Utah for three seasons before deferring her senior year to train for one last shot at making the Olympic team. She had to defer an additional year due to COVID-19, and is now two years removed from competing in the NCAA.

The 24-year-old was adamant she would represent the Red Rocks for a fourth and final season, but after achieving her lifelong dream of making the Olympic Team, she is ready to hang up her grips after what will be the biggest meet of her life.

“We are over the moon that MyKayla’s lifelong dream to become an Olympian came true,” Utah Gymnastics head coach Tom Farden said. “I have had several conversations with her regarding her future after the Olympics and I fully support her next chapter in life. We are grateful for the commitment she showed to our program and university, and her legacy will live on forever.”

Skinner will be returning to Utah to complete her degree and graduate, but she has already flashed the iconic Utah “U” in her floor routine for the final time.

In addition to finishing her degree, Skinner has been open about her plans to start a family with her husband, Jonas Harmer, following retirement.

Her bio on Opendorse reads, “I am planning to major in communications, work as a sports broadcaster, and have kids with my husband as soon as I am done with gymnastics. I have a YouTube channel documenting my road to the Olympics and I plan to keep that going after!”

Read more about Skinner’s NCAA career here and elite career here.

Full statement from MyKayla Skinner on her intention to retire from gymnastics after the Tokyo Olympics

Hey everyone! I am so excited to compete in Tokyo in just a few weeks and I’m grateful for all of your support.

I wanted to announce I will be going pro and not returning to compete in the NCAA. The Olympics will be my last gymnastics competition before I officially retire ???? I will miss being a part of Utah Gymnastics and competing in the Huntsman Center but there are things I want to do professionally and places my gymnastics can take me that won’t work as a college athlete, even with the recent rule change. More importantly, I am not getting any younger and my body definitely needs a rest after this last comeback.

I have nothing but good things to say about Utah Gymnastics- the organization, the athletes, the fans, coach Tom and the staff. I will be returning to finish my degree and graduate at the U and will forever be a Red Rock. We have the best fan base in the nation and I’m happy to now transition into being a part of it ☺️

As one door closes, another opens, and I’m excited for what’s ahead. For now I am going to focus on bringing home a medal or two this summer for Team USA. I have a lot of hard work ahead and want to promise that the world has yet to see my best gymnastics

Lots of love,
Myk ????

via @mykaylaskinner2016/Instagram

Gymternet reacts to MyKayla Skinner’s decision to not return to NCAA gymnastics

The gymternet has expressed its support for the soon-to-be Olympian and her future plans, even as many fans are disappointed they won’t get to see Skinner don a Utah leo for one last season with her team.