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Local gymnast trains for spot on 2014 U.S. Olympic team

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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

By Arianna Grainey


ARIANNA GRAINEY/CRONKITE NEWS: You’re seeing what Mykayla Skinner sees every day. Dizzying turns on a balance beam just 4 inches wide. Skinner just returned from the Pan Am Games, winning four gold medals.

MYKAYLA SKINNER/GYMNAST: Usually I am just on individual events so it was really cool to be able to improve myself and to make the all around in gold.

ARIANNA GRAINEY/CRONKITE NEWS: Skinner trains at Desert Lights Gymnastics in Gilbert. She’s working toward a spot on the U.S. team at the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016. And she’s focused on the next step, including being invited to train for the world selection camp with Bela Karolyi.

MYKAYLA SKINNER/GYMNAST: Definitely just hard work every day in the gym and then I just have to go to camp and just look as good as I did at Pan Ams so I can make the world team. Then just do good at worlds.

ARIANNA GRAINEY/CRONKITE NEWS: Skinners coach, Lisa Spini, will go with her to camp in Houston and try to help her as she competes for a spot.

LISA SPINI/COACH: It’s great. It was a lot of hard work, years of hard work, getting here, and of course it’s been our goal for the last several years with her.

ARIANNA GRAINEY/CRONKITE NEWS: Mykayla Skinner has been training here at Desert Lights for over seven years. Its basically her home away from home spending 32 hours a week on average here.

Olympic training may be relatively new to Skinner, it is not new to the Spini husband and wife team.

JOHN SPINI/COACH: In 1976 we had the USA national champion and olympian.

ARIANNA GRAINEY/CRONKITE NEWS: Now almost 40 years later Mykayla Skinner is ready to be the next Olympian.