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Vault World Champ Kayla Williams Lands in Cincinnati
(9 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

After 10 years at Bozhi's Gym Nest in Huntington, W. Va., Kayla Williams had a falling out with her coaches, Bozhi Russev and his daughter, Hrabrina (Hrabrova) Spencer, in February. It was an ugly split, and came just four months after Williams became the first American vault world champion.

Spencer, a member of the 1988 Bulgarian Olympic team, was especially hurt by an Associated Press story that appeared in USA Today on April 29, calling it "one-sided."

"The quicker the story blows over, the better," Spencer told IG in a phone interview earlier this week.

Spencer says it will not be difficult to see Williams training under a new coach.

"Even after everything she has said and her parents have said to us, I wish her the best," Spencer said.

Williams trained briefly at Sharp's Gymnastics in Indiana after she left Bozhi's, but the arrangement did not work out. After a couple of months without a gym, Williams finally found a new home at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy in Ohio.

"She is on our team, and we are happy to have her," CGA coach Mary Lee Tracy told IG.

Comments (9)add comment

Butterfly said:

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Wow. Wonder what the real story is on the split? I read the USA Today article and a few others. The impression I got is that her father is an EXTREMELY controlling man who wants to be the one to decide where Kayla goes to college, among other things. But from this article, it sounds like Kayla bears some responsibility too.
 
May 07, 2010
Votes: +4

TUpelo said:

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It definitely seems very much like a parent thing in this case. I know in most cases kids leaving a gym, particularly after seeing so much success and being there for so long, it's a parental control/mis-perception. And after Kayla became WC, it's possible her parents (or dad) started thinking they could push the coaches around.

Either way, I really hope it works out one way or another. Kayla could contribute a lot to the team and she seems like a genuinely humble kid. But, time will tell with MLT who will not take any crap from parents, either.
 
May 07, 2010
Votes: +5

SusieChapstick said:

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Kiss your career goodbye Kayla
Within 6 months she'll be seriously injured.
 
May 08, 2010
Votes: +1

Massie said:

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From the USA Today article it seemed that Kayla's parents were concerned that the coaches were placing autograph signings over school attendance - that's a legitimate concern. This is, afterall, a 16 year old girl who is still in school and who is focused on getting a college scholarship. Kayla's parents are looking out for her long term interests - as they should. That's not being controlling, that's being a good parent. It sounds like the coaches' priorities are totally out of whack. I hope Kayla continues her success with CGA!
 
May 10, 2010
Votes: +3

Karl said:

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why injured?
hey SusieChapstick, why do you say that in 6 months she'll be seriously injured? Are you implying that everyone from CGA gets injuries or are you saying she's too young to be doing the high powered vaults she's become famous for?

I'll definitely be interested to see where this story goes from here... I wish her and all of Team USA the best!
 
May 11, 2010
Votes: -1

Vanessa said:

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I wonder why it didn't work at Sharps...he seems so easy going. Samantha Peszek was able to transition with him post-Olympics. Everyone is different but I can't help but wonder if her & her parents are a handful.
 
May 12, 2010
Votes: +1

Crystal said:

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Don't be quick to judge
As fans, we all want to know everything going on with our favorite gymnasts but we have to remember one important thing, we should not judge these young girls or coaches because we do not know them. Unless you are a part of the situation you have no place to say who is in the wrong. Kayla is an amazing gymnast and her old coaches were experienced enough to get her to the level she is at. However, a situation occurred that caused them to go separate ways. We shouldn't make judgments about why or what led to this unless we are privy to the details. All we can say is that her parents wanted one thing and her coaches wanted another thing. A disagreement occurred that could not be resolved and Kayla has landed in Cincinnati an amazing gym and program with one of the best coaches in US history. I believe Kayla will thrive at Mary Lee's gym and will meet her goals as long as she stays healthy and committed. That is really all anyone can say because it's not right to judge unless you know all of the specifics, which none of us do unless you were at the gym when everything occurred.
 
May 14, 2010
Votes: +4

can't say said:

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i trained wit kayla for five years i looked u to her and still do we miss herlike crazy at tha gym i wish the best of luck to you kay (:
 
June 27, 2010
Votes: +0

mhed said:

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i sure hope this young lady reappears on the world scene. we sure coulda used her in rotterdam this weekend. i enjoyed watching her last year at worlds and i hope to see her there next year she is too young with too much promise to end her career with only one world gold
 
October 23, 2010
Votes: +0

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