Most best friends will spend this summer shopping at the mall, watching summer blockbusters at the movies or going to the beach. Kyla Ross and her best friend? Yeah, they’re competing in the Olympics. No big deal, right? This week, Kyla is representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympics! Want to find out more about Kyla? Keep reading!
1. Kyla is best friends with fellow Team USA gymnast McKayla Maroney! They started training together when they were 6 and 7 years old and have been inseparable ever since. They’re each other’s biggest supporters, so you can bet they were ecstatic when they both made the Olympic team. It’s like Make It or Break It, but in real life!
2. At 15 years old, Kyla isn’t just the youngest girl on the women’s gymnastics team; she’s the second-youngest athlete competing for Team USA in any sport. She’s older than swimmer Katie Lecedky by just five months, and they’re 39 years younger than the US’s oldest competing athlete.
3. Just like every other 15-year-old on the planet, Kyla is obsessed with The Hunger Games. It’s her favorite book!
4. One of Kyla’s biggest strengths, gymnastics-wise, is balance beam – her favorite apparatus. She also soars on the uneven bars, which many consider to be the US’s weakest event, so she’s a seriously important asset to Team USA. At yesterday’s qualifying round in London, she scored a 14.866, the second-highest US score and 11th overall high score on bars (out of 79 women), and a 15.075 on beam, which was the 6th overall high score (out of 83 women). Way to go, Kyla!
5. Athletic excellence runs in her blood. Kyla’s dad, Jason Ross, was a minor league baseball player in the Atlanta Braves organization when she was younger.
6. Kyla seriously loves to cook. Her favorite food is Salmon.
7. Kyla spends 30-35 hours in the gym every week, but when she’s not training or going to school, she loves to watch Family Guy.
8. Kyla comes from an awesome mix of ethnicity. Her dad is black and Japanese, while her mom is Filipina and Puerto Rican.
9. Kyla’s nickname is Mighty Mouse. The name was given to her by her vault coach at junior national camp because she has so much power and strength.
10. She’s one tough chick! Kyla was the only girl who didn’t cry when the Olympic team was announced at trials in San Jose. She’s known for always being super composed, but still always has a bright smile on her face.