Gymnastics News Network via Dvora Meyers – espnW.com
One year ago, Elizabeth Price became the 2014 American Cup champion and, in doing so, clinched the World Cup Series title — officially becoming the No. 1-ranked gymnast in the world.
And just more than a month later, she retired from elite gymnastics.
The retirement announcement was the sports equivalent of a mic drop. The American Cup title had been one of many new additions to Price’s résumé: She’d just won the all-around and a pair of individual event titles at the 2014 Pacific Rim championships, and finished first and second, respectively, at two World Cup competitions in late 2013. Many considered her a shoo-in for the world championship team to be named later that fall.
Price was also probably the only gymnast in the world who had a credible shot at defeating her American teammate, two-time world all-around champion Simone Biles. Though Biles was out with a shoulder injury during Price’s reign in 2013 and 2014, it seemed that the pair was destined to lead the U.S. squad leading up to Rio — and to battle it out when individual titles were on the line.
“Elizabeth Price left the sport as basically the best person on the planet,” former world champion Kim Zmeskal Burdette said with a mixture of admiration and bafflement. “You don’t see that coming.”
Indeed, most did not. But Price didn’t quit gymnastics entirely, either. She had secured an athletic scholarship to Stanford, and opted to end her elite career at that point to join the team that fall. What surprised so many was that she didn’t defer admission at Stanford for a year to go to worlds, or for two to attempt an Olympic run, as elite gymnasts routinely do.
“We were hoping that she would at least see it through  because we thought she could make the world team and possibly be the world champion,” said Donna Strauss, one of Price’s elite coaches at Parkettes in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Price felt differently. “Going to worlds — sure I could’ve won more medals, but I don’t think that would’ve…READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
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