Monday, 16 September 2013

Then and Now: Kayla Williams (USA)

Kayla Williams from the US is a former World Champion on vault. She won the title at the 2009 World Championships in London with two fabulous vaults in her first major international elite competition. This was all the more impressive because she had only moved from the JO program in early 2009 (where she won the AA, vault and floor). In 2010, she quietly retired back into the JO program at Cincinnati Gymnastics. 

Kayla winning vault at the 2009 World Championships in London (credit:

I remember seeing her reaction after nailing her second vault- a perfectly executed and stuck DTY. She clearly was delighted to be at the World Championships and incredibly proud of her performance! 

Kayla's gold medal performance at 2009 Worlds

I very much respect Kayla's decision to retire from the elite scene, these days I feel that elite gymnasts push themselves too hard and too long. Perhaps for Kayla, she felt as though she had achieved her goals in gymnastics, and was quite happy to retire to a program where she could really enjoy her sport without fear of injury. She became an excellent addition to Alabama's college gymnastics program, where she has been a consistent performer on both with particular strengths on vault and beam. Their team finished 3rd at the 2013 NCAA Championships.

Kayla competes for Bama on beam (credit:

Kayla's passion for gymnastics is obvious, and it is great to see her continue to do well in the sport. She will be one of the leaders for the team this year, and what a year it should be! Good luck to Kayla and the rest of her team.

Check out Kayla's 9.9 beam routine from earlier this year

Article by Imogen Browne (Follow on Twitter @Iflip4gymblog)

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