I’m a little more determined this year

Four years ago, U.S. gymnast Skye Blakely was thrust into the spotlight when the delay of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 until 2021 suddenly made her age eligible.

“That was kind of interesting knowing that at 2020 was like the big year, but it’s been moved,” Blakely told Olympics.com in June 2020. “Then, I heard a little bit of talk about how girls who were born in 2005 would be able to go, and that made me really happy because knowing my chance to go made me really excited because my eyes were set on 2024.”

But her run at Tokyo didn’t go the way she’d hoped.

A talented junior – she was a member of the U.S. team for her first-ever Junior World Championships in 2019 – Blakely impressed early in the season in 2021, winning the balance beam at the Winter Cup.

She was seventh at the U.S. championships later in the year, easily advancing to the U.S. Olympic trials, but an injury there on the vault derailed her.

One thing it didn’t do: deter her.

A year later, Blakely was an integral part of the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 2022 World Championships. Individually, she advanced to the balance beam final.

In 2023, Blakely was once again a member of Team USA’s dominating golden squad.

“I believe I am a lot more experience and I know what to expect a lot more and overall more confident going into this year,” Blakely told a small group of reporters, including Olympics.com, earlier this year at a USA Gymnastics media availability.

“I’d say in 2021, it was kind of a surprise, just not sure, just going to go with the flow. But now, I feel like I’m a little more determined this year.”

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