Elizabeth Price

Elizabeth Price

Elizabeth Price: I never really planned on going to Rio

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Elizabeth Price chose Stanford over the possibility of the 2016 Olympics, and she’s prepared never to compete in elite gymnastics again, despite recent success in international competitions.

“I never really planned on going to Rio,” said Price, an alternate for the 2012 Olympic Team who announced her retirement from the U.S. National Team last week. “It would have been a huge experience if I had gotten to go to the Olympics, or if I were to go in 2016. … But I don’t think that there will be any regret or anything for me not going.”

Price, 17, won the American Cup all-around title March 1 and the Pacific Rim Championships all-around April 9, beating 2012 Olympian and 2013 World Championships all-around silver medalist Kyla Ross in the latter.

Price, who signed a letter of intent to Stanford in November, said she thought more and more beginning in January about enrolling this fall rather than deferring. She made her decision earlier this month, before competing at the Pacific Rims in Richmond, B.C.

Winning the American Cup, Pacific Rims and the International Gymnastics Federation’s World Cup series title for 2013-14 made little impact on her choice.

“Even though it made me a better competitor, it was really a decision that I wanted to move on from gymnastics,” the Coopersburg, Pa., native said. “I felt like I had accomplished everything I wanted to with my elite gymnastics career.”

Price would have been a favorite to make the U.S. team for the World Championships in Nanning, China, in October, had she not retired from elite competition.

“I don’t think worlds would make me feel any better of how well I did [as an elite gymnast],” she said.

Price said U.S. National Team director Martha Karolyi was disappointed to lose her but understood the decision.

Price also considered going to school at Alabama and Florida, which have won or shared the last four NCAA Championships. Stanford has never won an NCAA title.

She plans to study biomedical engineering in Palo Alto, Calif., and doesn’t expect to return to elite competition after college.

“Once I’m done, I’m done,” Price said.

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Elizabeth Price retires from U.S. National Gymnastics Team

Elizabeth Price
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2012 Olympic alternate Elizabeth Price is retiring from the U.S. National Gymnastics Team after winning two of her biggest titles in the last two months.

Price, 17, will enroll in Stanford in the fall and compete collegiately. That could preclude her from competing at the World Championships in Nanning, China, in October. But she didn’t rule it out.

“I have given this a lot of thought,” Price said, according to USA Gymnastics. “Although the timing means that I might miss the opportunity to compete at the World Championships, I am ready to move on and have decided to enroll at Stanford University this fall. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I will miss my teammates, but I am excited to go to Stanford and compete in collegiate gymnastics.”

Price won the American Cup all-around title on March 1 and the Pacific Rim Championships all-around April 9.

Price’s retirement comes during a time of transition for U.S. women.

Simone Biles, the 2013 world all-around champion, missed the American Cup and Pacific Rims due to injury. Fierce Five member McKayla Maroney had knee surgery in March.

Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas and floor exercise champion Aly Raisman are in training but haven’t set competitive returns yet. Less has been heard from Jordyn Wieber, now a UCLA student, about if and when she will return to competition.

The only 2012 Olympian who has competed this season is Kyla Ross, who took second to Price at Pacific Rims.

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U.S. women sweep team, individual all-around at Pacific Rim Championships

Elizabeth Price
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Elizabeth Price and 2012 Olympic champion Kyla Ross went one-two in the all-around and led the U.S. to the team title at the Pacific Rim Championships in Richmond, B.C., on Wednesday night.

Price, a 2012 Olympic alternate who won the American Cup on March 1, scored 59.9 points combining tallies from all four apparatus. The reigning world all-around silver medalist Ross took second with 58.7. World all-around champion Simone Biles withdrew Monday, citing a shoulder injury.

The U.S. won the team title by a comfortable 14.3 points over Canada. China was third.

Price had the highest scores on uneven bars, floor exercise and the balance beam. Ross had the second-highest scores on bars, floor and beam.

They both qualified for those three event finals at the international competition, set for Saturday at the 2010 Olympic speed skating venue.

The men’s team and individual all-around competitions are Thursday.

The Pacific Rim Championships are held every two years and generally feature top U.S. Olympic prospects. Gabby DouglasJordyn Wieber and Ross competed in 2012.

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