MyKayla Skinner says her comments about 2024 USA Olympic team were ‘misinterpreted’

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MyKayla Skinner has claimed that her comments about the USA Olympic gymnastics team were “misinterpreted.”

In a series of Instagram Story posts shared on 3 July, the Olympic silver medalist posted a video clarifying comments she made in a YouTube video, in which people believe she criticized the “work ethic” of this year’s Olympic gymnasts headed to Paris.

On 30 June, five gymnasts were selected to compete for Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympics: Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, and Hezly Rivera. Traveling replacement athletes Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong will also be on standby as alternates.

In Skinner’s now-deleted YouTube video, she said that the rest of the team didn’t have the level of “talent” of Olympic champion Biles.

“Besides Simone, I feel like the talent and the depth just isn’t like what it used to be,” the 2020 Olympic vault silver medalist said. “Just notice like, I mean, obviously a lot of girls don’t work as hard. The girls just don’t have the work ethic.”

After the video began to make rounds, those involved or on the current team have seemingly called out Skinner.

In a post shared on Instagram Threads, Biles notably wrote that “not everyone needs a mic and a platform.” Meanwhile, Chiles’ mother Jordan commented, “Whoa. She really said that out loud and posted it. That’s something….”

Skinner wrote on her Instagram Story: “Just clearing up what had been said on my current video!”

“Hey, guys, just wanted to pop on here really quick, because I know we did the recap on YouTube,” she started the apology video. “And I feel like a lot of you guys had misinterpreted or misunderstood exactly what I was meaning or had said.”

She added that “a lot of the stuff” she spoke of in the video “wasn’t always necessarily about the current team, because I love and support all the girls that made it and I’m so proud of them.”

The former gymnast continued to say that her comments were primarily based on her own experience getting back into gymnastics and seeing how younger gymnasts train these days.

“It was more about going back into my own gym, just the work ethic is different compared to when we were doing gymnastics in the [former team coordinator] Márta [Károlyi] era,” she continued. “And I’m not sticking up for Márta or saying what she did was good, I’m just saying it was different.”

“So anyway, sorry for anything that got out of context or seemed hurtful. That is never my intention,” she said, concluding her series of posts. “And seriously, throughout the video, I was so pumped for the girls, and it was so fun watching trials and doing a live with everybody.”

She stressed that she “loves” the women on the current team and wishes them the best in Paris.

“I would never do anything to make them feel otherwise,” Skinner concluded. “So sorry if that came out wrong. That was not my intention at all.”

The 2024 Paris Olympics are set to begin on 26 July.

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