Ross Withdraws from Worlds Selection

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With the final U.S. selection camp for the 2015 World Championships team beginning October 6, Kyla Ross today announced her decision to withdraw from the process.

USA Gymnastics reported the decision with their release of the selection camp roster, which includes all of Ross’ gold medal-winning 2014 teammates – Alyssa Baumann, two-time world champion Simone Biles, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear, and MyKayla Skinner – as well as her 2012 Olympic teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman in their comeback year. Others in contention include Nia Dennis, Brenna Dowell, Rachel Gowey, Amelia Hundley, Bailie Key, and Maggie Nichols.

2014 Worlds alternate Madison Desch, who has been dealing with back pain since competing at the Pan American Games, is also missing from the roster.

Women’s program senior vice president Rhonda Faehn expressed her support and appreciation for Ross, adding that she is a “tremendous asset to the national team…[whose] dedication, talent, and accomplishments have contributed to the USA’s success on the international stage.”

In a way, it’s probably the best decision she could make, as she has struggled all year to hit her upgrades consistently, and without the upgrades, she’d be too far behind in difficulty to contend. Ross has been competing at the elite level without a single break since her junior debut in 2009, winning the all-around title at her very first national championships. This summer marked her seventh straight year in elite competition, and she’s made every international squad she’s been eligible for, including the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, winning individual medals at the latter two.

Unlike her Olympic teammates, Ross took no break between the Games and getting back to competition. She spent a few weeks on the post-Olympic tour, but then jumped right back into school and training, returning about six months after the Olympics to compete in the European tour, defeating Biles for the all-around title at a friendly meet in Germany.

She has been an unstoppable force from the start, and while it is sad and shocking to see that she her decision to pull out this year, it is probably for the best. She deserves the rest everyone else has taken, and without the pressure of leading a team yet again, she can take a step back and focus on the end goal, which is to make a second Olympic team in 2016.

The seven-member U.S. women’s team will be announced at the conclusion of the selection camp on October 8. We wish Ross the best of luck in her time off and hope to see her back and kicking butt next year!

Article by Lauren Hopkins

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14 thoughts on “Ross Withdraws from Worlds Selection

  1. Totally agree! It is sad but it is at the same time a very smart decision. Good luck Kyla, we’re waiting for you next year!!!

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  2. Very smart. She’s the only U.S. gymnast who didn’t stop training/competing after London. She needs to mentally focus, adjust to her growth spurt, upgrade routines, rest and HEAL. With the condition she is in right now, she would accomplish nothing, other than tarnishing her reputation before international judges.

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  3. This breaks my (selfish) heart. I know Kyla deserves a break. She needs time to heal, time to breathe, and most likely time to think. I just really wanted her to pull through and make World’s to prove to everyone that she still can,that shes not done. I hope this isn’t the end for her. But if it is, at least she’ll be happy and healthy for college-where I fully expect her to dominate!

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  4. Good decision. I love seeing Kyla compete, but she needs a break; like you said, she’s been going and going and going for years. We want her strong and healthy to help team USA and UCLA for many more years!

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  5. Will she really make Rio in a team of just 5? If she waits till after Rio to begin , she will be starting college at 21 when everybody else is entering senior year . Should have retired to begin college this year thus only being 2 years behind .

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    • I’m not sure if she’ll make the team…it’ll depend on how she’s able to upgrade and compete those upgrades. And Bridget Sloan started college at 21…several former elites started NCAA at older ages. It’s not that unusual!

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    • Kyla was born in October 1996 so she will be 19 at Rio and still 19 in September when school starts so she will only actually be one year behind. She only finished high school this past June, anyway.

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      • hey hey ! In this sport to look older is a compliment . Kyla has always presented more mature than her years . However I was thinking she was part of the 2011 team though I could not actually recall her there .

        Still I it’s not until you are older do you realise how important it is to get on with college & get it out of the way . One olympics is really enough on the CV . American colleges really ought to get it down to 3 years . You are keeping young adults as babies too long .

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      • It’s a diffeent argument but I’m also thinking student debt reduction & the fact that internship is taking up extra time . There is a future after college for pro athletes including WAG ..21 would be an ideal start in many sports .

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      • The American university system is four years for a reason — we leave high school a year earlier than European universities. It all equals out in the end. Do some research on the system before making an unfounded comment.

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