Kyla Ross

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Kyla Ross
— Gymnast —
Kyla Ross 555 edited.jpg
Ross at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic.
Personal information
Full name Kyla Briana Ross
Nickname(s) Mighty Mouse,[1]
Country represented  United States
Born (1996-10-24) October 24, 1996 (age 18)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Residence Aliso Viejo, California
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Years on national team 2009 - present
Club Gym-Max Gymnastics
College team University of California, Los Angeles[2]
Head coach(es) Jenny Zhang and Howie Liang
Former coach(es) Sandy Dornbuch, Katherine Anderson, Debra Hutchinson, and Nikolai Dorochenko
Music 2012: The Phantom of the Opera
2013-2014: Le Cirque

Kyla Briana Ross (born October 24, 1996) is an American artistic gymnast who was a member of the Fierce Five[3] — the gold-medal-winning U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.[4] Ross was also a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. team at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Individually, she is the 2013 world all-around silver medalist and the 2014 world all-around bronze medalist. She is also the 2013 world uneven bars and balance beam silver medalist. [5]

Personal life[edit]

Ross was born on October 24, 1996, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Jason and Kiana Ross. Her father is of African American and Japanese ancestry, and her mother is of Filipino, German, and Puerto Rican descent.[6] Her father was a minor league outfielder for six years.[7] She has two younger siblings, Mckenna and Kayne.[8][9]

Ross attends Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, California. She intends to maintain her amateur eligibility and compete in NCAA gymnastics. She will graduate from high school in 2015 but plans to defer college enrollment to vie for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team.[7] She has committed to UCLA.[10]

Early gymnastics career[edit]

Ross's mother has said that her daughter was always very strong, with a lot of energy: "She was born with muscles. We would go to the park and everybody would say, 'Whose baby is on top of that jungle gym?' And I would say, 'Oh, that's my baby. Don't worry about her, she's fine.'"[11] Her father added, "It would use all my effort to get her to sit in her car seat, and I'm a pretty big guy, a strong guy. When she was born, we were like, 'Oh my goodness, she has triceps, she has quads hanging off her. What the heck's going on?' And she was just super strong. I mean, at an early age, she was able to walk across the monkey bars, just hanging herself."[6]

Ross began gymnastics when she was three years old at Greenville Gymnastics Training Center in Greenville, South Carolina. She later trained at Richmond Olympiad in Virginia and National Gymnastics Training Center in Aliso Viejo before moving to Gym-Max Gymnastics in Costa Mesa, California in 2005.[12] Her coach, Jenny Zhang, was skeptical about Ross's future in gymnastics because "she had this square body, no legs, square shoulders." But, Zhang said, fellow coach Howie Liang replied, "Don't worry about her. She will have long legs."[11]

Ross found early success as a competitive gymnast. Between 2005 and 2007, she won five state titles and two national titles.[13] She competed as a level 10 gymnast in 2008. At that year's state championships, she won titles on uneven bars, balance beam, floor exercise, and in the all-around. She added another title on balance beam and a second-place finish in the all-around at the regional championships. At the 2008 Junior Olympic national championships, she won the balance beam, floor exercise, and all-around titles and finished second on vault.[13]

Elite gymnastics career[edit]

2009[edit]

Ross qualified as a junior elite gymnast at the Metroplex Challenge in February.[14] In April, she competed at the American Classic in San Diego, California. She placed second in the all-around with a score of 55.316.[15]

In July, at the CoverGirl Classic in Des Moines, Iowa, she placed first in the all-around with a score of 57.000, handily beating future Olympic teammates Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. She also placed first on vault with a score of 15.200, fifth on balance beam with a score of 13.950, and fifth on floor with a score of 14.250.[16]

In August, she competed at the Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas. She said, "It's a dream come true to compete in the Visas. I've watched it since I was 7."[17] In only her second elite meet, she placed first in the all-around with a two-day combined score of 114.000, beating former junior national team member Bridgette Caquatto by more than half a point.[18][19] She earned two event titles as well: She placed first on vault, performing a double-twisting Yurchenko and scoring 30.350 over two days, and first on balance beam with a combined score of 29.00. She also won the bronze medal on floor exercise, where she performed to the theme song from Rawhide and earned a two-day total of 28.200.[19][20]

At the Junior Pan American Championships in Aracaju, Brazil, in November, she and teammates Caquatto, Raisman, and Sabrina Vega beat the second-place Canadian team by almost 15 points. Ross also placed first in the all-around with a score of 57.400, beating Vega by more than a point.[21] In the event finals, she placed first on uneven bars (14.150), first on balance beam (15.000), and second on floor (13.800) behind Raisman.[22]

2010[edit]

In March, Ross competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy, where she placed second in the all-around (56.700) behind Anastasia Grishina of Russia.[23] The following month, she competed at the 2010 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia. The team, which included junior gymnasts Ross and Jordyn Wieber and senior gymnasts Raisman and Rebecca Bross, won the gold medal, beating China by more than 15 points.[24] Individually, Ross placed second behind Wieber in the all-around with a total score of 58.000.[25] She also won a gold medal on vault (15.100), and silver on uneven bars (14.250) and floor exercise (14.200).[26]

In July, at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, she placed third behind Wieber and Katelyn Ohashi in the all-around (58.700), first on balance beam (15.250), fourth on vault (15.200) and uneven bars (14.550), and eighth on floor exercise (13.700).[27]

The following month, she competed at the Visa Championships in Hartford, Connecticut as the defending junior national champion. Despite a fall on uneven bars during her warm-up, she earned the highest score on the event on Day 1 of the competition (14.050).[28] And despite a mistake on uneven bars on Day 2, she finished strong on balance beam (15.45) to win her second straight junior all-around title with a two-day combined score of 116.450.[29][30][31] She won the national title on balance beam (29.900) and placed third on vault (30.450), third on floor (28.500), and seventh on uneven bars (27.600).[32]

In September, she competed at the Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. She and teammates Vega, Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Brenna Dowell, and Sarah Finnegan beat silver medalist Canada by nearly 20 points.[33] Individually, she placed first in the all-around (57.998), ahead of Vega and Jessica López of Venezuela,[34] She won the silver medal on floor (14.075)[35] and sixth on uneven bars (13.350).[36]

2011[edit]

Ross again competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in March. She and teammates Ohashi, Madison Kocian, Lexie Priessman, Elizabeth Price, and Ericha Fassbender won the team event over Russia by more than ten points. She also won the all-around competition with a score of 58.750. Grishina, who had bested her the year before, finished fifth.[37]

At the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago in July, Ross finished first in the all-around (58.850) and on uneven bars (15.000), second on vault (15.250), third on floor exercise (13.950), and fourth on balance beam (14.650).[38][39]

She entered the Visa Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota in August as the two-time defending junior champion. She struggled on Day 1, falling on a double pike on floor exercise and vaulting an Amanar that was devalued to a double-twisting Yurchenko.[40] On Day 2, she earned full credit for her Amanar, and her all-around total for the day bested Ohashi's, 60.150 to 60.000. However, she finished with a two-day total of 117.65 to Ohashi's 120.95 and earned the all-around silver medal.[40][41][42] She also placed second to Ohashi on uneven bars (29.600) and balance beam (30.450), and finished sixth on floor (27.650).[43]

2012[edit]

Ross on the uneven bars at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic.

Because her 16th birthday fell within the calendar year, Ross became a senior elite gymnast in 2012 and was eligible to compete at the Olympics. In March, she competed at the 2012 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Everett, Washington. The U.S. team consisted of senior gymnasts Ross, Wieber, and Douglas, and junior gymnasts Priessman, Ohashi, and Amelia Hundley. They easily won the competition, beating silver medalist China by nearly 20 points.[44][45] Individually, Ross placed second in the all-around (59.200) behind Wieber, the reigning world all-around champion.[46] In the event finals, she earned gold on balance beam (15.375), silver on uneven bars (15.050), and bronze on floor exercise (14.375).[47]

Later that month, Ross competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy for the third straight year. The U.S. team (consisting of Ross, Bross, Brianna Brown, Dowell, Finnegan, Maroney, Price, Raisman, and Mykayla Skinner) again earned an easy victory, finishing more than ten points ahead of silver medalist Italy.[48] Ross also won the all-around competition (59.850) ahead of Raisman and Finnegan.[49] She finished the competition by claiming titles on uneven bars (15.050) and balance beam (15.500) and a bronze medal on vault (15.550).[48]

In May, Ross competed at the Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago. She placed second in the all-around (59.800) behind Raisman, second on uneven bars (15.450), fifth on balance beam (14.700), and fifth on floor (14.350).[50]

The following month, Ross competed at the Visa Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. She placed fourth in the all-around (59.750) on Day 1 and earned the highest score of the day on uneven bars (15.500). She also tied with reigning Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin for fourth place on beam (15.100).[51][52] On Day 2, she improved her all-around score to 60.200. She finished fourth overall, behind Wieber, Douglas, and Raisman, with a two-day combined total of 119.950.[53] In the event finals, she earned the silver medal on uneven bars (30.850) behind Douglas. She also placed fourth on balance beam (30.100) and sixth on floor (28.650).[54]

At the beginning of July, Ross competed at the Olympic Trials in San Jose, California. She placed fifth in the all-around with a two-day combined score of 120.000.[55] She also tied for first on uneven bars, scoring 31.150, and placed third on balance beam, scoring 29.950.[56] Afterward, she was chosen as a member of the team that would be sent to the 2012 Summer Olympics. She said, "This is the most surreal feeling. Hearing my name called, I couldn't even believe it."[57]

Ross was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the rest of the U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team in the July 18, 2012 "Olympic Preview" issue. It was the first time an entire Olympic gymnastics team had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.[58]

London Olympics[edit]

Ross and the rest of the Fierce Five meeting President Barack Obama.

At the end of July, Ross competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. She helped the American team, nicknamed the "Fierce Five",[59] qualify first to the team final,[60] and individually, she qualified as the second reserve for the uneven bars final with a score of 14.866.[61] In the team final, she contributed scores of 14.933 on uneven bars and 15.133 on balance beam toward the American team's gold-medal finish.[62]

2013[edit]

Ross was slated to compete at the 2013 American Cup but withdrew because of an ankle injury.[63] However, she performed an exhibition balance beam routine after the competition had ended.

In March, she was chosen to be a part of the U.S. European tour team that would compete in the City of Jesolo Trophy and in the USA-Germany-Romania Tri-Meet in Chemnitz, Germany. At Jesolo, she won gold medals in the team and uneven bars competitions, and silvers in the all-around and on balance beam.[64] At the Chemnitz meet, she contributed to the U.S.'s first place finish and won the all-around with a total score of 59.300.

At the Secret U.S. Classic in July, Ross won gold medals in the all-around and on uneven bars and a silver medal on balance beam.[65] At the P&G Championships in August, she finished second in the all-around and won gold on uneven bars and balance beam.[66] She was invited to the qualifying camp for the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, and on September 15, she was one of four gymnasts named to that team.[67]

The World Championships took place in October in Antwerp, Belgium. In the all-around final, Ross started on vault, performing a double-twisting Yurchenko (15.366). She went on to score 15.100 on bars, 14.533 on beam, and 14.333 on bars, earning the silver medal with a total of 59.332.[68] She scored 15.266 and finished in second place in the uneven bars final, behind Huang Huidan, and placed second in the balance beam final with a score of 14.833, 0.067 behind Aliya Mustafina.[69]She was also awarded the Longines Prize for Elegance along with male gymnast Kohei Uchimura of Japan. The award is given to the male and female gymnast who displayed the most charisma, charm, and elegance as determined by a voting jury.

2014[edit]

The all-around podium at the 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy (Ross center).

Ross was slated to compete at the 2014 American Cup but withdrew because of a back injury.[70] In March, she competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy, where she won gold medals in the team and all-around competitions. She also won silver on uneven bars and floor exercise, but finished sixth on balance beam.[71] The following month, she competed at the Pacific Rim Championships in Richmond, Canada. She won gold medals with the team and on balance beam, and took silver in the all-around and on uneven bars and floor exercise.[72]

In August, Ross competed at the Secret U.S. Classic, where she finished first on beam, second in the all-around and on floor, and third on uneven bars.[73] Later that month, she competed at the P&G Championships and finished second in the all-around, first on balance beam, sixth on uneven bars, and fifth on floor.[74][75] Despite several mistakes on the first day, she was named to her third consecutive senior national team.

On September 17, Ross was selected to compete at the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China.[76] Alongside teammates Alyssa Baumann, Simone Biles, Madison Kocian, Ashton Locklear, and Mykayla Skinner, she won gold in the team final. Individually, despite dealing with hip and groin injuries, she qualified to the all-around and balance beam finals. She was also second reserve for the uneven bars final. In the all-around, she unexpectedly won the bronze medal after mistakes from Mustafina and Yao Jinnan of China. She also placed sixth in the balance beam final.

2015[edit]

UCLA

On February 22, 2015, Ross announced on Twitter that she had committed to the University of California, Los Angeles's gymnastics team where her former Fierce Five teammate, Jordyn Wieber, is team manager.[77] Ross signed the National Letter of Intent to the Bruins on April 15, 2015, deferring until the 2016-17 season.[78]

Secret U.S. Classic

On July 25, she competed at the Secret U.S. Classic, competing only on uneven bars and balance beam because of a bruised heel she sustained during training. She had two falls on uneven bars while trying to debut a new routine, which included a Chow (stalder Shaposhnikova) connected to a Bhardwaj (full-twisting Pak salto). She hit her ribs on the low bar after her Bhardwaj and fell. She restarted her routine but fell on a handstand while performing a toe-on full pirouette. She then restarted the routine a third time, this time removing the full twist in the Pak salto and only doing toe-on pirouettes. She dismounted with a double front, a new dismount for her, and scored a very low 12.250 (5.9 difficulty), finishing 15th on the event. She regained her composure and had a better performance on beam, despite a wobble on her side somi, and scored a respectable 14.550, placing fourth behind Worlds teammate and 2-Time World Champion Simone Biles and Olympic teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman. She said after the competition she hopes to make major improvements in her routines and return to compete the all-around at the P&G Championships.

P&G Championships

On August 13 & 15, Ross competed at the 2015 P&G Championships, competing the all-around that included a new floor routine. However, the new floor routine not only did it include the same tumbling passes she did in 2014 (still having back issues) but, on Night 1, she put her hands down on her last tumbling pass (double tuck), and scored a 13.550. She moved up in the rankings a little bit with her double-twisting Yurchenko vault one rotation later, scoring a 15.050. On the uneven bars she executed her Bhardwaj (full-twisting Pak Salto) and nailed her Jaeger release, but she under-rotated her double front dismount and sat it down. She scored a 14.050. On beam she had a sub-par routine that included a huge wobble on her switch ring leap and a loss of connection on her front tuck to wolf jump because she had a small wobble on her front tuck and never performed the wolf jump. She scored a 14.250 and ended Night 1 in 12th placed, tied with 2015 Pan Am Games team gold medalist Megan Skaggs.

The first 2 rotations on Night 2 did not go to plan for Ross either. She under-rotated her double-twisting Yurchenko and scored a 14.550. On bars, she was able to control her Bhardwaj transition but came close on her Jaeger release. She once again under-rotated her double front dismount and sat it down again. She scored a 14.050, same score on Night 1, for a total of 28.100, placing her 12th on the event where she is usually consistent on. She regained her composure and had an excellent beam routine and scored a 15.250. Her total of 29.500 placed her 3rd on the event behind Simone Biles and Alyssa Baumann. On floor, she did not do a connection following her Double Arabian (she didn't perform her stag jump that she usually does after the Double Arabian) and under-rotated her double tuck dismount but put it to her feet. She scored a 13.800 and had a total of 27.350, placing 12th on the event.

Despite her mistakes, she placed 10th in the All-Around with a score of 114.550, behind Biles, Maggie Nichols, Olympic teammate Aly Raisman, Bailie Key, Olympic teammate Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, Baumann, Mykayla Skinner, and Nia Dennis. She was named to the Senior National Team for the 4th consecutive year, clinching the final spot edging out Brenna Dowell and receiving an invitation to the 2015 Worlds Selection Camp.

Competitive history[edit]

Ross giving an interview after finishing second in the all-around at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic.
Ross on the uneven bars.
Year Event AA Team VT BB UB FX
2009 CoverGirl Classic (Junior) 1st 1st 5th 5th
Visa Championships (Junior) 1st 1st 1st 12th 3rd
Junior Pan American Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd
2010 City of Jesolo Trophy (Junior) 2nd
Pacific Rim Championships (Junior) 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd
CoverGirl Classic (Junior) 3rd 4th 1st 4th 8th
Visa Championships (Junior) 1st 3rd 1st 7th 3rd
Pan American Championships 1st 1st 6th 2nd
2011 City of Jesolo Trophy (Junior) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 7th
CoverGirl Classic (Junior) 1st 2nd 4th 1st 3rd
Visa Championships (Junior) 2nd 3rd 2nd 2nd 6th
2012 Pacific Rim Championships 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 3rd
City of Jesolo Trophy 1st 1st
Secret U.S. Classic 2nd 4th 5th 2nd 5th
Visa Championships 4th 4th 2nd 6th
U.S. Olympic Trials 5th 3rd 1st 9th
Olympic Games 1st
2013 City of Jesolo Trophy 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
Secret U.S. Classic 1st 2nd 1st 12th
P&G Championships 2nd 1st 1st 7th
World Championships 2nd 2nd 2nd 5th
2014 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st 1st 6th 2nd 2nd
Pacific Rim Championships 2nd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd
Secret U.S. Classic 2nd 1st 3rd 2nd
P&G Championships 2nd 1st 6th 5th
World Championships 3rd 1st 6th
2015 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st 1st
Secret U.S. Classic 4th 15th
P&G Championships 10th 3rd 12th 12th
Year Competition Description Location Apparatus Rank-Final Score-Final Rank-Qualifying Score-Qualifying
2014 World Championships Nanning Team 1 171.462 1 235.038
All-Around 3 58.232 5 57.941
Uneven Bars 12 14.650
Balance Beam 6 13.866 7 14.391
Floor Exercise 15 13.800
2013 World Championships Antwerp All-Around 2 59.332 2 59.198
Uneven Bars 2 15.266 2 15.133
Balance Beam 2 14.833 3 14.566
Floor Exercise 5 14.333 6 14.333
2012 Olympic Games London Team 1 183.956 1 181.863
Uneven Bars 11 14.866
Balance Beam 6 15.075
Floor Exercise 34 13.733

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External links[edit]