Kyla Ross proved herself with a fourth place finish at the Visa Championships. She proved herself at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, taking fifth. Still, she’s nearly invisible when it comes to the media frenzy in the 2012 Summer Olympic coverage.
Ross became a gold medal Olympian on Tuesday with performances that rivaled many. A respectable 14.933 on uneven bars and a 15.300 on balance beam gave the U.S. team the stability and maybe even the chutzpah to barrel over the competition.
Though uneven bars is considered a weakness for the American women, balance beam is without a doubt the apparatus that can make or break champions.
Sixteen feet long, four feet off the ground and just over the width of an average woman’s foot, the beam can shake one to the core. It takes confidence and solid nerves to combat this event. Whoever leads off sets the tone for the remaining team members. That leader was Ross and it was a wise choice.
Throughout the selection process Ross quietly rose through the ranks. Every team needs a stable workhorse, but filling that bill with a gymnast who can produce higher than average scores is a different matter.
The baby of the team proved her mettle on bars by placing second at the trials. It can be argued this is what solidified her place on the roster.
On Tuesday, Ross continued to show prowess as the leadoff on beam, displaying an unflappable ability to mount and dismount solidly with everything in between, something all teams look toward to get started with a bang.
And bang she did, scoring 15.133 and setting up both Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman to bring it home with confidence.
Ross will not continue on to the event finals in the balance beam as her teammates Douglas and Raisman outscored her —in the case of Raisman, only by .025.
A tough pill to swallow, but it's doubtful Ross holds a grudge. She should be proud of her contributions for team USA.
Ross is now and will forever be an Olympic gold medal champion.
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