‘I’m Devastated and Heartbroken’: Sky Blakely Achilles Injury Weakens A Powerful US Gymnastics Team Trying To Regain Gold At Paris Olympics

The Team USA Olympic women’s team has taken a major blow, and the picture of who that team will be has become more muddled. 

Some Black magic will be missing as dynamic gymnast Sky Blakely injured herself ahead of the Olympic Trials during podium training, which is just a routine walk through to get gymnasts familiar with the equipment they will be using, ceilings, the environment. It also provides one last opportunity to perform their routines in the venue they will be competing in, which this week is the Target Center in Minneapolis. 

Blakely was killing the game at the USA Gymnastics Championships in Fort Worth earlier this month that put her in prime position to make the five-person USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Olympic Team that will be announced on Sunday.

Sky Blakely Injuries Achilles: Out of Olympics

Blakely was going through her floor routine when she injured her Achilles performing a double layout. It’s a move that requires a gymnast doing a round-off back handspring into the air, and flipping twice while keeping their body in a vertical position. 

On Thursday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that Blakely’s injury will keep her out of the Olympic Trials and Games.

At the U.S Gymnastics Championships last month in Fort Worth, Blakely finished second to Biles, a fellow Texan, in the all-around competition. Most observers believed the Florida Gators gymnast was a near lock for one of the five Olympics spots.

The gymnast posted her devastating injury news to her Instagram:

“This is not the way I saw my Olympic trials going or how my season ends,” Blakely wrote. “I’m devastated and heartbroken, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I was so close to reaching my dream but this injury was unavoidable.

“I had an amazing season that I am extremely grateful for. The plans we have for ourselves aren’t always the plans God has for us. I’m going to keep my chin high and be proud of the statement I have made for myself these past couple years. I’ll be back.”

That’s disheartening news for Blakely, who had high hopes of making these Olympics and was slated to be an integral part of Team USA. 

The storyline will still focus on Simone Biles, the GOAT returning after a drama-filled 2021 that saw her pull out of most of her Olympics events after suffering disorientation and mental exhaustion. 

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team will miss Blakely, but it is deep with talent with a mission to win back the gold medal in the team competition after losing it to the Russians three years ago in Tokyo. They won it all in 2012 and 2016 after earning it for the first time in 1996.

On the bright side, the two-time Worlds All-Around medalist Shilese Jones is back from injury and reportedly is a lock to make the team. 

Blakely was in the top 3 as far as probably Olympians, as she can contribute in all four events. 

Tokyo Games All-Around champion Suni Lee probably make it if she competes effectively, and 2021 team member Jordan Chiles could sneak in as well. 

Look out for high school phenom Hezley Rivera, who just turned 16 and is a throwback to the time when tiny tots and teens dominated the gymnastic game.

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