Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross has announced her decision to retire from elite gymnastics on Twitter.
At 15, Ross was a member of the 2012 “Fierce Five” that won team gold in London. With her decision to retire, she will not make a run for a spot on the 2016 team for the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my life but I feel that my time as an elite gymnast has come to an end,” Ross wrote. “This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have made in my life but I feel that my time as an elite gymnast has come to an end.”
Ross retires as a three-time U.S. champion and the 2012 Olympic Trials winner in the uneven bars. She attended the U.S. training camp last month in Texas.
“Pretty much the past year has been a little bit difficult,” Ross told the Orange County Register. “I know I’ve been thinking about it and just trying to understand and decide what I was going to do, so I thought coming into the new year I’d see how my feelings were and if I still had the drive and passion to pursue the Olympics. I went to the first training camp of the year and I just didn’t feel like my mind was in the right spot and I know that I didn’t want to go for the Olympics and put myself through all of it if my heart just wasn’t really there.”
Jordyn Wieber is the only other member of the Fierce Five to have announced her retirement. While other members have taken a break from the sport before returning to competition, Ross continued to compete as member of the 2013 and 2014 world championship teams. She won silver in the all-around at the 2013 world championships before taking bronze a year later. She also has silver medals in the uneven bars and balance beam from 2013.
Ross will enroll at UCLA in the fall and will compete collegiately for the Bruins.
- Christopher Chavez