Gymnast Rebecca Bross was ready for the last Olympics, but age limits kept the then 14 year-old from being eligible for the 2008 Games in Beijing. That meant Bross had to wait for London.
Now at age 18, the North Texan is finally getting her shot. "I have a goal that I want to achieve and a dream," Bross said.
Bross trains at World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano. WOGA is the same gym that produced Olympic all-around champions Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin. Liukin is Bross' training partner.
"We are really good friends," Bross said. Liukin’s father, Valeri, is Bross' coach.
Bross is already a champion. Her collection of gold medals includes the Junior National Championship, the Pacific Rim Championship, and the Visa Championship. She also has several World Championship medals. Bross seemed like a sure bet to make the U.S. Olympic team, until she suffered a serious knee injury last year. "I guess I was kind of in shock when it happened," Bross said.
Surgery repaired the knee, but recovery hasn't been easy. "We start all over from the very beginning. It was a very hard time for her," said Valeri Liukin.
Since the injury, Bross has set aside her hopes of competing as an all-around gymnast. She is now focusing on the balance beam and the uneven bars, and Bross says the knee is fine. "Feels great. Doesn't bother me at all," she said.
Despite that, Bross has struggled in two major competitions leading up to the Olympic trials in San Jose, California at the end of the month. She heads into the trials as a long shot to make the team. Valeri Liukin says he and Bross don't talk much about London. "Never talk about things like this. Just extra pressure," he said.
With all that she has been through, Bross says she has one mission. "Just to show everyone that I've come back strong from what happened. Just be confident and see what happens," she said.
If Bross can achieve that, she hopes she'll be holding a ticket to London.