U.S. gymnast McKayla Skinner thinks that there is a good possibility that Simone Biles will compete in beam at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday, August 3.
Skinner, 24, thought the Olympics were over for her and initially planned to leave Tokyo immediately, but both Biles, 24, and coach Cecile Canqueteau-Landi, 41, convinced her to hold off on taking that flight home.
Skinner said: "I was like, 'They're going to be fine [without me], they're going to be good.' And then, Simone was down on the floor after team finals and had told Cecile, like, 'You need to text MyKayla to make sure she doesn't go home in case she needs to step in.'"
Following Biles' shocking withdrawal from various Olympic gymnastics events after experiencing a dangerous phenomena she referred to as "the twisties" and admitting that her "mind & body are simply not in sync", Skinner replaced her in vault and won the silver medal.
The gymnast said that her friend supported her every step of the way, even if she wasn't used to seeing Biles cheering from the stands. "It was seriously cool to see her love and support and her cheering us on. And I knew she was going to be the loudest one in there tonight because she's like, 'I want you to make podium. I want you to medal.'"
Skinner told reporters that Biles has been "just so awesome" over the past few days, and marveled at her teammate's strength. "I'm like, 'How are you so strong after all this?' Like, I'd be in my room bawling every single night."
She went on, "Seriously, every day she's been laughing, giggling, super supportive and, I mean, I'm sure when she gets home it'll probably hit her more."
Now, Skinner is saying that Biles is happy and upbeat and might even compete in Tuesday's balance beam event.
The American gymnast claimed that Bile was "just trying to stay in the game", and said that she has been "the happiest person" this past week. "I'm so grateful to see after everything she's been through that she's making the best of it."
When asked to clarify her statements about Biles trying to "stay in the game" and if that meant that she planned to compete in beam, Skinner's response was, "I think so, yes." She continued on to say that she doesn't know that for sure, and "it's kind of up to her", but that it is currently still in the team's "game plan" for Tuesday.
Skinner finished the interview, calling Biles "mentally and physically tough", and that whatever happened, life will go on and she will continue being "the amazing Simone that she is."