CARSON, Calif.—Accomplished gymnast Kyla Ross was recognized as a youth role model here, an award she received as part of the Filipino-American History Month.
Ross, described as the boss in the gymnastics world, raked in a dozen perfect 10 scores for the UCLA Bruins last season.
She is also the first gymnast to win a gold medal in both the Olympics and the world championships, as well as an NCAA national championship.
Now, Carson has added “Fil-Am Youth Role Model” to Ross’ titles.
“I’m super excited to be able to receive this award. I think it’s super cool to be able to be an athlete and Filipino American and really represent this culture, so really excited today to receive this award,” Ross said.
The 23-year-old Hawaii-born, California-raised Ross just started her senior year at UCLA.
“I feel really fortunate to have continued my gymnastics career at UCLA and it’s really been fun to stay in LA and do something that I love so much and still breaking records has been really fun. But it’s bittersweet I’ve been doing gymnastics my whole life but I’m also ready to have a new chapter in life,” she said.
In recent years, US gymnastics had been rocked by a sex abuse scandal, where Ross was among many athletes who spoke out against a former team doctor.
She believes that dark period actually had a silver lining.
“I feel like after all that negative light that was shined on gymnastics in the past few years, I think it was really important for my teammates and I and all of gymnastics to really come out this past year with a really positive light and I feel like we really showed that throughout gymnastics and how we responded. Last year was really important for the sport of gymnastics,” she said.
She hopes to finish her final year of college on a high note.
While this is her last year on UCLA’s team, Ross will spend her fifth year finishing up her biology degree.
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