Out of the mouth of babes

I don’t find Kyla Ross boring at all. In fact I like her more and more every time she shows up at a meet and does well.

The Los Angelos Times has an article on Kyla where she states she should be named to the Olympic team. It borders on cocky but doesn’t quite get there, just yet. What she gives as her opinion sounds like the truth to me.

For now Ross looks to 2012 and says, with authority, “I should be on the team. I hit my routines. They have good start values. I’m consistent. That’s what I bring. So they should bring me.”


Below is the whole article because the LA Times doesn’t keep their articles up online forever:)


By Diane Pucin

June 2, 2012, 4:05 p.m.
Kyla Ross likes homework.

The Aliso Niguel high school freshman is particularly fond of science and the intricacies of biology.

Ross likes the balance beam too, a piece of gymnastics equipment that she has also studied well. It is, at least on some days, Ross’s favorite apparatus.

That’s on the days when she isn’t totally engrossed in her floor exercise, danced and tumbled to music from Phantom of the Opera, or the uneven bars where every release move she does well earns a fist pump from her husband-wife coaches Howie Liang and Jenny Zhang at Costa Mesa’s Gym-Max Gymnastics.

Some days Ross even likes the vault the best, where strength takes the top spot over creativity.

Ross, a 15-year-old from Aliso Viejo, is in her first year of being age-eligible at the senior level of gymnastics and maybe only a month away from being a U.S. Olympian.

Last week she finished second to 2011 world team gold medalist Alexandra Raisman at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago.

In March, in her first senior-level international competition, the Pacific Rim championships, Ross won a gold medal on the balance beam, a silver on the uneven bars and a bronze in floor exercise.

Ross entered the senior level of gymnastics after having won consecutive junior U.S. championship all-around titles and is now given a strong chance to not only make the U.S. Olympic five-woman team but also to compete in all four events and be eligible for the all-around title.

“That’s not what our first goal is,” Zhang said. “Our first goal is to have the United States win the team gold medal.”

While the United States women have had plenty of individual Olympic success lately, including producing the 2004 all-around gold medalist (Carly Patterson) and the 2008 all-around gold and silver medalists (Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson), the team gold has eluded the Americans since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

“And 1996 was the year Kyla was born,” Zhang said.

Kyla’s father, Jason Ross, did not predict his daughter would become a gymnast. Jason is 6 feet 5 and played baseball and football at the University of Hawaii, where he met Kyla’s mother, Kiana. “Maybe she’d be a volleyball player like her sister,” Ross said. “Just because of the height thing.”

Jason played six years of minor league baseball after college, and he and Kiana eventually settled in Southern California because Kiana had family nearby. He’s a sales rep now and Kiana works a couple of jobs selling gymnastics clothing and working at the Westing at South Coast Plaza to help support her daughter’s athletic talent.

Kiana said Kyla was born with her father’s strength.

“We have pictures of her as a baby and a boy we baby-sat for was in his high chair and Kyla was climbing up, holding on and she couldn’t even walk yet,” Kiana said.

“She was always just built like that, with a strong body. And she was always high-energy. All she ever wanted to do was move around. When she was 3 years old and we were in Greenville, South Carolina, I put her in a recreational gymnastics class and the coach said, ‘She has odd strength for her age.’ She’s been doing gymnastics ever since.”

A typical day for Ross begins at 5:30 a.m. when she “crams in a little homework.” Unlike many Olympic-level gymnasts, Ross doesn’t want to be home-schooled so she heads to class at Aliso Niguel. One concession to her talent is to leave school early some days for training.

When the Rosses settled in California and first brought Kyla to Gym-Max, Liang described her build as “very square, like a box.” But Liang also told Ross’s mother, “She’s got the long lines of a ballerina. She’ll always have the power of the stocky gymnast but she’ll have the pretty lines too.”

Kiana Ross said, “I think that’s why Howie kind of took to her.”

Kyla said she is 5 feet 1. “And my legs got long in the last year,” she said. “I think I had a growth spurt.”

Liang and Zhang came to the United States from China in the early 1990s and their gymnastics pedigree was strong. Both had competed on Chinese national teams and Liang once coached Liang Chow, Shawn Johnson’s eventual coach. They recognize talent.

In Ross they have a talent. And Zhang said even if Ross doesn’t make the Olympic team she plans to stick around for four more years. “She’s the perfect age,” Zhang said. “She has another four years as long as she stays healthy.”

“I will,” Ross says. But that’s the future. For now Ross looks to 2012 and says, with authority, “I should be on the team. I hit my routines. They have good start values. I’m consistent. That’s what I bring. So they should bring me.”



34 Responses to “Out of the mouth of babes”

  1. newbie Says:

    I like how honest she is. I hate when gymnasts talk in cliches. It would be one thing if she was talking air – she’s completely right though. She does hit her routines, she’s consistent, and she has the start values (maybe not floor). I agree with her. Good for her for speaking the truth!!

  2. sanitynmotion Says:

    I love how it’s just a fact and yes, I agree with it. She SHOULD be on that team. She should also get to compete in the AA (although I’m wondering if Marta will screw with scores at nationals and trials and thus it will be Jordyn and Aly going for the AA, leaving Ross out). Either way I’m excited to see here that she’s prepared to go on for another four years after the Olympics. It would be sad to see her leave after just a year on the senior floor. I feel like we’ve only just been introduced to what she’s capable of.

    Especially considering that 5.5 D value on her floor exercise. That’s where her statement is not true. I pray she’s upgrading that!

  3. Kel Says:

    I am afraid Kyla will be left home with Nastia to take her place. I can’t seem both of them making the team, especially with Marta singing the praises of Jordyn, Aly, Gabby, and Makayla.

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      Yeah I can see that too. Which would be incredibly stupid on Marta’s part, but politics is politics.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      She’s going and she brings a lot more to the table then Nastia.

      I am convinced the Olympic team is Jordyn, Aly, Kyla, Mckayla and Gabby and if they replace anyone it will be Mckayla who brings only one event to this team.

      I am staying in this dream world until I have but no choice to be torn out of it:)

      • Sofia Says:

        May I join you in your dream world?? This is exactly what I am hoping for, and honestly, if this mix lives up to their potential at championships and trials, they will have a hard time selling to the public if they take Nastia in the place of one of these girls…not that THAT would stop them.

  4. Aerial Says:

    I am neutral about her. She doesn’t excite me but I respect what she does. If I had to make a guess, I say she makes it.

  5. nero Says:

    She needs to start landing her vault on the actual podium. Right now she’s good on bars and beam and Nastia and Rebecca are going for those spots. If Nastia or Becca start outscoring her on bars and beam then she’ll get bumped

    She has a monopoly over those two with her vault but she needs to start hitting that thing like yesterday

    If she does I would put her in vault rotation instead of Aly, 2nd on bars then 2nd/3rd on beam.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Landing on the judges table worked for Paul Hamm.lol

      I know she needs an upgrade on floor and to land the vault like she landed it last earlier in her career.

  6. Lauren H Says:

    I agree with you GTT. The more I see/hear about Kyla, the more I like her, and I think Marta would be an idiot to leave her off the team.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Unfortunately Marta is an idiot.

      • Exgymgurl Says:

        Yes Marta is a spiteful idiot ref @cmemmel

      • Lauren H Says:

        Oh I know she’s an idiot. I probably should have prefaced that in my statement. Or better yet, I really should have said she’d be a brain dead moron for not taking Kyla. 🙂

  7. JAS4 Says:

    I think she should be on the team but she could easily be left for Nastia because I have a feeling if Marta puts Nastia on the team she will put Maroney on the team to cover floor and vault and if Aly and Jordyn are on the team Marta will most likey put Gabby in the 3rd AA spot I think if she upgrades floor and comes really close to Jordyn’s scores at Nationals and Trials then it would really help to prevent that from happening

  8. Nancy Says:

    If Nastia shows up with a bars set that is equal to or higher value than Gabby, she’s making the team and Kyla will be an alternate. She is far too weak on floor and her vault is just unreliable. I know she thinks she should be on the team and while she’s a beautiful gymnast there’s a very real chance she wont make the cut. That floor should’ve been upgraded by now.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      I am with the group thinking Marta made the decision on that floor routine. A 5.5 start value makes no sense in this day and age. I smell Marta behind it.

      • JAS4 Says:

        I know awhile back on twitter people were saying Kyla beat Jordyn at camps and unless Jordyn completely screwed up there’s no way Kyla would have beaten her with her current floor I think she has upgrades but I wonder of Marta has been trying to make sure Kyla doesn’t beat Jordyn yet or she would rather play up the Gabby vs Jordyn rivalry like she did after American Cup

      • Lauren H Says:

        I’m hoping that Kyla has major upgrades to her floor at Visas this week because she’s seems more than capable of competing more difficult passes.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Shows up or hit routine? I could see her showing up and falling. Would Marta take her anyway?

      I have a better dilemma for you. One I thought about writing about. Nastia goes to Nationals, falls twice off bars. Does she still go to Trials after ChellsieGate ????

      • JAS4 Says:

        Probably so or if she did and knew she might get the boot then she’d probably say her shoulder was bothering her again and retire so
        as not to get the boot publicly but I could see her still going to trials too lol

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Let’s just say Nastia falls once on bars. She’ll still make Trials. If she falls twice on one apparatus though I think that would be too obvious, even for Marta, after the Chellsie fiasco.

        If she falls once on beam and once on bars though – Marta will still take Nastia. They’ll over score her other elements so she’ll come close to that “28”…say she’ll get 13.9 or 14 on beam (with a fall) and 14.8 or 14.5 on bars (with a fall)…actually, take that back. She’ll just be overscored so that if she DOES happen to fall (once on each apparatus), she’ll still make it to Trials.

        Or – if Nastia isn’t doing well at podium – I can see her petitioning her bars to trials and just competing beam again, which is still bullshit.

        I think Marta’s next target (now that Memmel and Johnson are out) will be Becca and Sloane.

      • Lauren H Says:

        Nastia is so going to Trials, regardless of how she performs this week. She could fall twice on beam and bars, and somehow her scores will still be in the 14s.

        We’ll probably find out next week that Nastia petitioned to Trials before the competition, and it was approved before competition began.

  9. JAS4 Says:


    • sanitynmotion Says:

      Hahaha way to go USAG, keep on defending your position. 🙂

      Someone tweet this to Nastia – she’ll be upset they used Carly’s picture and not hers.

      I still think something doesn’t smell right when there is such a huge difference between the men’s and women’s programs. The way men develop in the sport is not a valid excuse.

      And it really blows over the fact that despite US winning a crop of medals since Marta became coordinator (most of which are individual – probably due to the fact the Karolyi’s no longer have such a national influence coaching-wise, i.e. no longer are all the female gymnasts being coached by Karolyi), they have NOT won the team gold medal since 1996 – during which the old regime was in place.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      They totally gloss over the fact that the quad where they came in was the weakest since the late 80’s. Woga would have existed without Marta and so would have Shawn.

      • JAS4 Says:

        In USAG’s world there would be no gymnastics with out Marta they probably even think she invented the sport therefore there could be no good gymnast without her lol

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        Nastia invented gymnastics Jas:)

      • JAS4 Says:

        Oh yes how could I forget she invented it and Marta is her person team coordinator lol

  10. Surfergirl Says:

    Kyla appears to be very confident and I like that. I don’t find what she said the least bit cocky. I notice Kyla doesn’t get a lot of media attention/hype so I’m glad that she projected an “I believe in myself attitude.” With the Nationals and Trials right around the corner she is on the right track, Bring that fighting spirit out. I agree with Newbie–I like her honesty and it’s refreshing to hear something other than the canned responses, “Well, I’m going to try my hardest and hope for the best.”

  11. ? Says:

    if you do the math she has a realistic chance of beating anyone even with the low floor difficulty. Just look, vault 15.7-15.6; bars 15.5-15.4; beam 15.5-15.4 and floor 14.4-14.3. Total score= 61.1-60.7. In the realm of things these score are quite possible. She has made these scores recently here in the US and internationally but she has not put them all together. So we will have to wait and see.

    • JAS4 Says:

      The only thing is that she would literally have to get a perfect score on floor because her d score is a 5.5 so the most she could possibly score is a 15.5 but even as clean as Kyla is that doesn’t leave much room for deductions I think if she upgraded to a 6.0 routine or higher she’d have a better chance of getting over a 15+ on floor

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        She will not get out of the 13’s on floor with a 5.5. Not internationally.

        She is a beautiful gymnast in many area’s but her floor has some issues. She needs a 5.9 start value on floor and is more then capable then getting it.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        I still think Marta is telling Kyla’s coach to not upgrade Kyla’s floor. When will these coaches learn not to trust Marta.

  12. sanitynmotion Says:

    I have 2004 related questions. If anyone would be so kind as to respond. 🙂 ASac is a great vaulter. I realize she failed on beam in ’04 and therefore wasn’t invited to trials, but why not for her vault? Was she as good at vault then? I mean – Mohini and Hatch were taken pretty much solely for their vaults. Why not ASac?

    The other question is regarding Terin Humphrey. She was taken to Worlds in ’03 solely for her floor routine. However in ’04 she wasn’t used at all for floor and they opted with Mohini’s floor instead (which didn’t help USA at all) – why didn’t they use Terin? Even Kupets was injured, so she could have subbed in for Kupets…

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