Shayla Worley (born September 2, 1990 in Orlando, Florida) is an American gymnast. She was a member of the gold medal-winning American team at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. She trained at Orlando Metro Gymnastics where she was coached by Jeff Wood and Christi Barineau, since she was a Level 6 gymnast. Worley went on to compete at the University of Georgia, the 10 time NCAA champions.
Worley competed at Level 9 in 2001, placing first in the all-around competition at the Florida State Championships. Her final meet of the season was the Level 9 Eastern Championships, the highest meet to which a Level 9 gymnast can advance, where she placed second all-around. Worley finished off the junior Olympic levels by placing second all-around at the 2002 Level 10 Florida State Championships.
In 2002, Worley became a junior national elite, one step below the elite level; today, it is referred to as pre-elite. She won the all-around title at the American Challenge, and also placed well at the U.S. Challenge.
She advanced to junior international elite in 2003. At the U.S. Classic, Worley placed high enough to qualify to the U.S. National Championships. A few weeks later, she competed at the U.S. National Championships, where she finished fourth all-around. This also gained her a spot on the United States National Gymnastics Team.
Worley continued on competing as a junior elite in 2004. She helped the U.S. win in a dual meet against Japan, and at the American Classic, she finished fourth all-around and again qualified to the U.S. National Championships. A few weeks later, she was named to the Pacific Alliance Team, finishing fourth all-around at the Pacific Alliance Championships. She also competed at the U.S. Classic, where she placed second all-around. In the fall, she won the all-around at the USA versus Japan meet and was named to the Junior Pan Am Games team, but could not compete because of a back injury.
Worley's final year as a junior was 2005. She started off her season at the International Tri Meet, which the United States won. She also went on the European tour, which included meets against lower-ranked Great Britain and Switzerland; the U.S. won both. Her next competition was the U.S. Classic. A potential winner, she finished fourth all-around after falling on floor. At the U.S. Nations one month later, a fall on bars kept her down in the standings on day one. She battled back and tallied the highest all-around score on day two, eventually finishing third overall behind Natasha Kelley. In her final meet of the season, the Massilia Cup, Worley only competed on bars, finishing second.
Worley turned senior in 2006. Her first senior outing was the American Cup, where she finished second all-around behind Nastia Liukin. Next, she competed at the Pacific Alliance Championships, where she finished second on bars, making her the highest-placed American, and helping the U.S. win the team title.
A hamstring injury prevented Worley from taking part in further competition in 2006. As a national team member who had scored well in the first half of the year, she had hopes of being named to the U.S. team for the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, but her injury had not gotten better, so she was unable to compete.
She was ready in time for the 2007 American Cup, but a fall on her uneven bars dismount meant she narrowly missed qualifying for finals; she would have done so easily without this error. Worley was also selected to compete in the Britain v. USA dual match held in Lisburn, Northern Ireland on St. Patrick's Day. There were no errors this time, and in the absence of the world's top two bars competitors, Britain's Beth Tweddle and American teammate Nastia Liukin, Worley took the bars title, and also finished second all-around. During the US Classic she only competed bars and beam. Unfortently her grip ripped during the middle of her bad routine, she did end up placing second on beam though. After the Visa Championships, in which she finished runner-up to Shawn Johnson, and was also second on Uneven Bars, she was selected to represent the U.S. in the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany.
At the World Championships, Worley and Team USA finished first overall in team qualifying, about four points ahead of the nearest team, China. Worley qualified 8th overall for the all-around competition, but because of rules permitting only two competitors per country, she was excluded since Liukin and Johnson qualified ahead of her. Worley also finished in the top eight on balance beam, but the two-athlete rule again caused her elimination from the event final. During the team finals, Worley competed on bars and floor, earning 15.575 and 14.675 respectively. The scores contributed to the U.S. total of 184.400, which earned the gold medal.
In 2008, Worley competed at the American Cup with a first-place finish in vault and bars. She then traveled to Boston, Massachusetts for the VISA National Championships, but had to pull out after aggravating a herniated disc in training the month before, resulting in her requiring four ice baths a day to soothe it by the time of the trials. She successfully petitioned to attend the Olympic trials, where she placed 14th all-around without competing on floor exercise. Worley was then invited to the final training camp in Texas, but ultimately was not chosen as an Olympic team member due to a broken leg. She then soon decided to retire from elite gymnastics.
At the 2013 National Championships in August, Worley was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame with the rest of the 2007 World Championship team.
|2003||Junior U.S. Classic||7||6|
|Junior National Championships||4||5||3rd||10|
|2004||USA/Japan Dual Meet||1st||1st||1st|
|Pacific Alliance Championships||1st||4|
|Junior American Classic||4||8||4||3rd||9|
|Junior U.S. Classic||3rd||3rd||1st|
|Junior Visa Championships||2nd||6||3rd||2nd||4|
|2005||International Team Challenge||1st|
|Elite Gym Massilia||2nd||2nd|
|Junior U.S. Classic||4||4||1st|
|Junior Visa Championships||3rd||3rd||2nd||4|
|Pacific Alliance Championships||1st||2nd|
|2007||USA vs Great Britain International Competition||1st||2nd||1st|
|Stuttgart World Championships||1st|
|U.S. Olympic Trials||14||11||11||7|