MyKayla was not selected as a member of Team USA, but instead, she was brought as a “specialist” for individual events along with Jade Carey. The brand-new concept for the Tokyo Games was designed to make it easier for smaller countries, who may not be able to put together a four-person team, to still be able to compete.
“Obviously, I would have loved to be on the four-man team but taking that individual spot either way is super cool … I finally get to be an Olympian,” MyKayla said after the trials, as reported by the Washington Post.
The YouTuber’s silver medal was huge for a variety of reasons, most notably that this was MyKayla’s first time at the Games. In 2016, she was named as an alternate to the Olympic team, despite finishing fourth at all-around at trials. She was also an alternate to the World Championships team in 2019.
She initially did not advance to the vault final after Simone, 24, and Jade, 21, placed ahead of her. However, when the Texan dropped out, MyKayla was able to step in.
“There have been so many times I’ve wanted to quit the last two years and throughout my entire gymnastics career. I don’t think most people know how hard this sport is on your body and mind,” MyKayla wrote via Instagram after winning her silver. “I’m grateful I never gave up and that so many of you never gave up on me unfinished business … FINISHED.”
MyKayla and Simone are extremely close, and she noted that the Simone vs. Herself star helped move her forward during the Games.
“To have her support and her having to step out of finals and her just pushing me along every single day to help me to place on that podium has been so cool,” the blonde beauty explained. “This has seriously just been so humbling, and I’m just so grateful to be here.”
As far as what’s next, MyKayla hopes to have a career in sports broadcasting and start a family with husband Jonas Harmer, whom she married in 2019. “It’s time for me to move on with life,” she said in reference to gymnastics. “I’m ready.”
Keep scrolling to see MyKayla’s bikini photos!
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