Simone Biles MyKayla Skinner
Screenshots: YouTube: Glamour, People

The Olympic gold medalist gymnast Simone Biles is speaking out this week to defend Team USA gymnastics. Her comments come after Olympic silver medalist gymnast MyKayla Skinner had controversially disparaged the team.

Skinner Rips Team USA

It all started last week, when Team USA named the five gymnasts competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics. These five gymnasts are Simone Biles, Suni LeeJordan ChilesJade Carey and Hezly Rivera, with replacements Joscelyn Roberson and Leanne Wong, according to People Magazine.

This didn’t sit well with Skinner, who took home the silver medal in the vault in the Tokyo Olympics back in 2021.

“Besides Simone, I feel like the talent and the depth just isn’t like what it used to be,” she said in a video that has since gone viral. “Just notice like, I mean, obviously a lot of girls don’t work as hard. The girls just don’t have the work ethic.”

“And it’s hard too because of SafeSport,” she added. “Like, coaches can’t get on athletes and they have to be really careful what they say. Which, in some ways is really good, but at the same time, to get to where you need to be in gymnastics you do have to be, I feel like, a little aggressive and a little intense.”

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is a nonprofit organization that was created in order to help end abuse in athletics.

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Biles Fires Back

Biles seemingly fired back on Instagram, writing, “not everyone needs a mic and a platform.”

The mother of Chiles also responded on social media, saying, “Whoa. She really said that out loud and posted it. That’s something….”

This then led to Skinner posting a groveling apology video.

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

Skinner went on to say that “a lot of the stuff” that she talked about in her previous 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.”

“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 added. “And I’m not sticking up for Márta or saying what she did was good, I’m just saying it was different.”

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‘So Sorry’

“So anyway, sorry for anything that got out of context or seemed hurtful. That is never my intention,” Skinner continued. “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.”

Skinner concluded by claiming that she  “loves” the women on the current Team USA and that she is “seriously so happy for them.”

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

The Paris Olympics are set to begin on July 26. Only time will tell if Skinner was right when it comes to her initial comments about Team USA!

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