FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The year 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of the United States Olympic Gymnastics Team taking home gold at the summer games in London. Two members of the team, Jordyn Wieber and Kyla Ross are now coaches for the Arkansas gymnastics program.
“I feel like I’ve lived so many stages of life since then, finishing high school going to college and finding a career," said Arkansas assistant gymnastics coach Kyla Ross.
“If you would have told me that we’d be in Arkansas coaching college gymnastics I don’t know what I would have thought," said Arkansas head gymnastics coach Jordyn Wieber.
In the summer of 2012, Ross and Wieber were just 15 and 16 years old, achieving more than most people do in a lifetime.
“I think during quarantine it was the eight-year anniversary and they replayed the whole broadcast and that was the first time for me watching it all the way through and I was like that doesn’t even look like me," Ross said.
“When I watch it I’m like 'is that me?'" asked Wieber.
10 years later the two are passing their knowledge of the sport onto the next generation as they lead an Arkansas program that has been a top-15 team in the country since Wieber's arrival on campus.
“I’m not surprised we’re both coaching gymnastics but it ended up being fate that we’re coaching together," Wieber said.
In between London and Arkansas, the two gymnasts have lived anything but a normal childhood. In the months that followed winning gold, Wieber and Ross went back to high school.
“When I came back after the Olympics I felt more nervous because I felt like a new student," Ross said.
“I went to prom and I went to football games and It was great to feel like a high schooler because I didn’t have that up to that point," Wieber said.
As fate would have it, the two would find themselves in the same gym once again at UCLA where Wieber was a student manager and Ross was a student-athlete.
“We always talked about how we were so bonded as a team in London and knowing that experience together would connect us for life, but then to be sitting here with Kyla working with her now, ten years later is pretty surreal," Wieber said.
Much different people than they were 10 years ago, the two can look back and appreciate a time when they were front and center in the sports world.
“We knew how much pressure was on us to win, we were on the cover of Sports Illustrated and everything but I think as a team we did a great job of staying in the moment and I don’t have any regrets about any of that," Ross said.
“I think I learned a lot about myself and a lot about this sport and a lot of it I draw upon when coaching now, both the good and bad that I want to change about the sport of gymnastics," Wieber said.
It's a journey that will without a doubt lead the two into the 20 anniversary of their historic feat.
“I think both of our loves for the sport is so big and being able to give back is something that fulfills us so much," Ross said.
“Kyla and I both take so much pride in being advocates for the sport of gymnastics and advocates for women and making sure everyone has a good experience in this sport so, yes I think we’ll still be doing this 10 years from now," Wieber said.
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