Where Is Kyla Ross Now? The Olympic Gymnast Retired From The Games, But Not The Sport
Back in 2012, when the Fierce Five were all anyone talked about and the women's Olympics gymnastics team took home the gold, 19-year-old Hawaiian native Kyla Ross was at the top of her game. But, four years later, what is Ross doing now? She's since retired from the national and international spotlight, but hasn't lost the pep in her artistic gymnastics step. The gold medalist is keeping up with her gymnastics career in the next most exciting step of adulthood: college. According to Sports Illustrated, Ross is enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles for the Class of 2020, and she's been recruited for the Bruins Division I gymnastics team.
The Fierce Fiver retired in February this year for a few reasons, focusing on college being one of them. "I've been kind of debating the decision for a while," Ross told USA Today Sports . "I wanted to see if I could push through the last few months, but I went into the first national team camp in January and just felt my heart wasn't really there." Ross' ability to be honest with herself, her team, and her country is something fans should admire. Stepping away from another possible Olympic opportunity is likely not easy, but her decision to attend college and compete at the collegiate level seems to make her happy, which is the most important thing.
Ross turned 16 years old three months after the London Olympics were over, which means that she was only 15 years old when she competed on the United States' Olympic team. But after deferring her acceptance to UCLA and the gymnastics team when she was 18 in hopes of going to the Rio Olympics, she began to feel that her elite competitive edge wasn't as sharp as it once was. "Gymnastics is something you have to spend so much time [at] the gym [in]," Ross told USA Today Sports. "To be in an environment when you don't feel your best and you don't always want to be there is hard."
Along with the pressure of being the youngest and, therefore, most likely to return to the Olympic team, Ross grew four-and-a-half inches after London and had a hard time adjusting her sport to her taller body, according to USA Today. "A lot of it was strength. You definitely have to lift a lot more. It was just getting used to that, also some of the rotational stuff," she told the outlet.
But, no matter what team Ross competes on, the world will always be on her side, following her career. With all that said, go Bruins!