Since the ignition of fire, human beings have always functioned in groups.

The betrayal of the group by an individual or number of members is a most unpardonable sin, involving deep feelings of guilt, and the most severe punishments.

In prehistoric times, among human groups, the clan and the tribe, evolved first. Those initial groups were bound together by kinship.

At the start of the historical era, around 4000 B.C., environmental opportunities and challenges led to the formation of  human groups which were too large for blood ties to be the only grouping factor.

Understandably cohesion and cooperation was extremely important.

At one of the most important events in a young female gymnast’s life, the 2016 Olympics held in Rio, Mykayla Skinner of the United States made an important decision that in other hands could have been a source of conflict, but in hers, spoke to group cohesion and cooperation.

The informative industry group shares, “After the meet of her life at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, MyKayla Skinner was named as an alternate. A powerful gymnast with impressive difficulty, Skinner contributes most to Team USA on vault and floor. We talked with MyKayla the week after Trials about her performance and the difficult position of being an alternate.”

A difficult position indeed after you finished just behind the American super stars Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, and Aly Raisman in the trials.

Finding good players is easy. Getting them to play as a team is another story.”… Casey Stengel

MyKayla’s foundation strongly supports that at some point, she will qualify for any position on any team that she desires.

Let’s vault down memory lane.

MyKayla is an American collegiate artistic gymnast., article, NBC Photo credit

Our super star competed at the 2014 World Championships where she contributed to the U.S. team’s gold medal, also winning an individual bronze medal on vault and placing fourth on floor exercise. She also won nine total medals at the USA Gymnastics National Championships during her senior career.

Mykayla is known for her high difficulty accomplishments on vault and floor. She currently attends the University of Utah, where she is a member of its NCAA women’s gymnastics team., article, Utah Athletics photo via Deseret News

She was named to the Junior US National Team after finishing tenth in the all-around and second on vault at the National Championships.

In the year 2011, Mykayla was the junior individual all-around champion of the American Classic.

On October 8, she was named as an alternate to the USA team for the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and she did not compete or participate in qualifications.

Once again, an honorable team player.

At the 2016 U.S. National Championships, Ms. Skinner finished 10th in the all-around and won a silver medal on vault and a bronze medal on floor exercise. She finished her senior career with nine total medals at the U.S. National Championships.

During her freshman collegiate season of 2016–17, Mykayla won 43 total events., article, photo via Deseret News

She was the Pac-12 champion in the individual all-around and on vault and floor exercise.

Here are her accomplishment mounted one after another:

Career Highlights

  • 2017 NCAA floor exercise champion and all-around silver medalist (Utah)
  • Alternate for the 2016 Olympic Team
  • 2016 U.S. vault silver medalist and floor exercise bronze medalist
  • 2016 Glasgow World Cup all-around champion
  • Alternate for the 2015 World Championships team
  • 2015 U.S. vault silver medalist and floor exercise bronze medalist (tie)
  • 2014 World team gold medalist and vault bronze medalist. Also place fourth on floor exercise.
  • 2014 U.S. vault & floor exercise silver medalist
  • 2012-13 U.S. vault bronze medalist


There’s more. On January 9, 201 8 at, they reported, “Utah sophomore MyKayla Skinner earns Pac-12 Women’s Gymnast of the Week for Tuesday, Jan. 9 after helping the Red Rocks top rival BYU in last Friday’s season opener, 197.000-194.275. Skinner managed to win the floor (9.925), bars (9.90) and beam (9.90).”

Mykayla’s home town is Gilbert, Arizona. Why don’t we travel there? It’s probably a place far more different than you think.

So often when people who have never been to the Grand Canyon State visualize a town that they have probably never heard of, they see desert and brush mostly void of lush trees, substantial water and greenery.

When it comes to Gilbert, think again., article, photo via zion realty

Gilbert is a city in Maricopa County, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Once known as the “Hay Shipping Capital of the World”, Gilbert is currently the most populous incorporated town in the United States.

Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Greater Phoenix area.

Note this; in the last three decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of the 2010 census.

That is incredible expansion.

The town grew at an average annual growth rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period., article, stonebridge-lakeside-homes , photo via Phoenix Arizona Waterfront Homes

We receive a warm welcome at “Make your way to Gilbert, Arizona. Our welcoming town is just southeast of Phoenix and only a short drive away from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. One of the best places to live in America, Gilbert boasts sunny weather, safe neighborhoods and an exceptional school system, as well as a wide array of outdoor and cultural attractions.

As one of the largest and most popular wildlife preserves in Gilbert, The Riparian at Water Ranch features hiking and equestrian trails open to the community.”, article, riparian-preserve-turtles, photo via Hats Off, America

At the city site they express, “The iconic water tower stands tall in downtown Gilbert in an area that once housed little more than the post office. Today, you will find the downtown bustling with shops, restaurants, a theater and, soon, it will also be home to a University.

As Gilbert approaches build-out over the next decade, the estimated population is expected to reach 330,000. With a continued focus on building the latest satellites, conducting cancer research and producing algae technology, Gilbert will continue to grow and thrive and uphold its reputation as being clean, safe and vibrant.”

That sounds enticing.

Now for praise from those on the outside salivating to peer in., article, riparian-preserve-turtles, photo via DCIM100MEDIA, photo via The Guerrero Group

The educational group Smiles, “If better earning, employment or entrepreneurial opportunities are your priority, Arizona’s economy beats out those of 34 states and earns high marks in categories measuring, among others, GDP growth, share of fast-growing firms and share of high-tech jobs.”

In terms of safety, the team bearing statistics, reports, “The top three safest cities in the United States remained the same this year, with Irvine, California taking the number one spot, Gilbert, Arizona second on the list, and Fremont, California rounding out the top three.”

We love that. Given Gilbert’s growth, apparently so do myriads of others looking for a wonderful and safe lifestyle.

One of Mykayla’s favorite eateries in Gilbert is the Gecko Grill., article, photo credit

Want to check in on them? Are you hungry?

At we can smell the delicious cuisine from miles away. Are they friendly? It’s Arizona. Of course they are. They smile, “We gladly offer some traditional favorites, but our success has come from our house specialty items like our Moreno’s Mexico City Street Tacos to our Southwestern Shrimp Burro and the ultimate fan favorite the Durango Chile Relleno!”

Emanating from an extremely lush and desirable community, it’s easy to fall in love with Mykayla’s vibrant personality and her love for her sport and team.

In terms of supporting her USA Olympic Team, in her interview with, Mykayla explains why she is willing to do whatever she can to support the group even if it means being an alternate. “It’s hard to do routines knowing you might not compete. It’s very hard, but it’s my last meet, so just to even be able to be an alternate is just an amazing experience. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Throughout time, the human species has always needed team players to support the group when necessary.

Good to know. Very life affirming.

Watching and enjoying Mykayla compete feels like a once in a lifetime experience as well., article, University of Utah Athletics photo credit

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OPENING PHOTO, article, Utah Athletics photo credit,_Arizona

The Riparian at Water Ranch