Kyla Ross Commits to UCLA

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2012 Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross has officially announced her commitment to UCLA’s NCAA program.

After competing in London, Ross continued training at the elite level, going on to win five World Championship medals in 2013 and 2014. She was the only gymnast among her Olympic teammates – known collectively as the Fierce Five – who chose to keep her NCAA eligibility in lieu of “going pro,” or accepting money for appearances and endorsements.

The biggest question on the minds of gym fans was where she would choose to compete as a collegiate-level athlete. In 2013, Ross said her top two choices were Stanford and UCLA, but as she was only a high school sophomore at the time, she had to wait until she was old enough to academically apply to Stanford before being recruited into their gymnastics program.

It looks as though UCLA – where 2012 Olympic teammate Jordyn Wieber is a student and gymnastics team manager – is where Ross’ heart belongs. She teased at an “exciting announcement” on Twitter early Saturday afternoon, and then attended UCLA’s meet in the evening, where she was spotted wearing a UCLA sweatshirt while on the floor chatting to Wieber.

Her official announcement came following the meet. “So proud to finally announce that I am now committed to UCLA!” Ross wrote on Twitter. “Can’t wait to compete with this team! Go Bruins.”

Ross joins a slew of elites who have also committed to UCLA’s next two signing classes, including Katelyn Ohashi, Madison Kocian, Nica Hults, Felicia Hano, Nia Dennis, Macy Toronjo, and back-to-back World champion Simone Biles; both Biles and Kocian signed letters of intent last fall with the intention of deferring until after the 2016 Olympic Games.

It is unclear whether Ross will join UCLA for the 2015-2016 season or whether she intends to follow her 2014 Worlds teammates Biles and Kocian in deferring with the hopes of making a second Olympic team, though the decision will likely come once she sees how things go for her in the 2015 elite season.

We wish Kyla the best of luck and can’t wait to see what she can continue to do in this sport.

Article by Lauren Hopkins

15 thoughts on “Kyla Ross Commits to UCLA

  1. Very excited for both Kyla and UCLA! I was pretty convinced that she was going to end up at Stanford, but I think she’ll have lots of friends and a great experience at UCLA

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    • I feel bad for agreeing, but I do. I just never got the fascination with UCLA, and Stanford just seemed to fit her classiness… Ah well, she should be happy continuing with Simone. I wonder if that had anything to do with her decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t see why people are so shocked, Ucla has a history of strong gymnastics and I’m sure the fact that it is Los angeles has some appeal too. Plus Stanford, although a prestigious school, doesn’t have as of strong team as ucla and ncaa is all about the team, very little indivual gymnastics.

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  3. A little bit surprised since she said she was leaning more towards Stanford. But so excited for her and UCLA! Can’t wait watch Kyla, Simone and Katelyn all compete together! Go Bruins!

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  4. This might be a really dumb question but with so many amazing elites going to one school do girls worry about making the lineup? How many girls are on an NCAA team? Also Lauren, Are you going to be weighing in on all the recent USAG/camp videos?! 🙂

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    • Elites don’t always thrive in the NCAA system. *cough* Shayla Worley *cough* The emphasis is much more on clean routines and stuck landings than throwing big skills, and much more on the team and much less on the individual. I’m not saying some elites don’t enjoy NCAA, because like Brigid Sloan and Courtney Kupets, clearly they do! But their bodies are often pretty beat up, and IMO they seem more prone to injury. I guess what I’m saying is a clean, level 10 gymnast who can perform under pressure could still get plenty of time in an NCAA team with a lot of elites.

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  6. A team tacked with elite gymnasts can’t hurt but doesn’t guarantee top rank in NCAA as Lauren had talked about in her NCAA article. Execution is much more emphasized. Kyla will probably do very well in ncaa. Simone and Skinner, esp Skinner, will be bored. I can’t picture Simone and Skinner doing FTY…. Anyway, I thought she was leaning more toward Stanford but UCLA does seem to have better gymnastics, we haven’t heard about scholarship but if ucla promises her a full ride right now and if Stanford has not then that could also be a factor. Colleges are expensive nowadays….

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  7. Is it possible she didn’t get into Stanford, hence the decision between UCLA and Stanford was an easy one? I seem to recall that Stanford is the only program where athletes have to get in academically before being accepted for scholarships. No shame either way – UCLA is a great school and with all these ex-elites, they should have a good chance of getting back on top of NCAA.

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