MyKayla Skinner announces her departure from the program and her intention to continue with the 2020 Olympics

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SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah gymnastics junior MyKayla Skinner will be leaving the program to compete at the 2020 Olympics, she announced Thursday.

“I love competing for the University of Utah and I am very grateful to my coaches, teammates and the 15,000 fans who come to support us every game (at home),” Skinner said in a statement. “During my three years in Utah, I grew and matured as a gymnast, improved my form and refined my technique. Although I love college gymnastics, I would like to try to compete for my country.

“I see the opportunity to seek an Olympic berth as a chance of a lifetime. If things don’t work out for some reason, I plan to return to the University of Utah for my final year. “

Skinner was invited to attend the national team camp in June, where she will aim for a spot among the five women to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Despite a fourth place finish at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Skinner was adopted for the five-woman team and selected as a substitute.

“MyKayla is a world class gymnast and we support her desire to test the waters of her international career resumption,” Utah head coach Tom Farden said in a statement. “She has the opportunity to go to national team camp and qualify for the American Classic and beyond.

Farden added that the team “keeps a spot on the list open” for Skinner if she returns this fall. “Obviously we would love to see her again for her senior season.”

Skinner is a two-time NCAA champion and was the 2018 vault champion and 2017 floor champion. She was an all-around finalist for both years. She performed the toughest routines on floor and vault in college gymnastics and holds the NCAA record for routines performed without a fall (161).

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