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