Kyla Ross, the only member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic champion women’s gymnastics team yet to turn pro, plans to compete collegiately for UCLA, according to her social media accounts.
Ross, 18, is a high school senior but could choose to defer enrolling at UCLA to focus on trying to make the Rio 2016 Olympic team. No woman has made back-to-back U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams since 1996 and 2000.
Ross, the youngest member of the 2012 U.S. team, won silver and bronze medals in the all-around at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships.
The winner each of those years was Simone Biles, who announced her commitment to UCLA in August.
At least one member of each of the last four U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics teams has attended UCLA, including 2012 gold medalist Jordyn Wieber (who can’t compete collegiately because she turned pro) and 2008 silver medalist Samantha Peszek, who is still competing for the Bruins.
Athens 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mohini Bhardwaj competed at UCLA before making her only Olympic team. Three members of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team that won bronze competed for UCLA after the Sydney Games — Tasha Schwikert, Jamie Dantzscher and Kristen Maloney.
Romanian Olympic, World champions signal gymnastics comebacks
With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.