Maggie Nichols (gymnast)

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Maggie Nichols
Full nameMargaret Mary Nichols
Nickname(s)Maggie
Country represented United States
Born (1997-09-12) September 12, 1997 (age 21)
Little Canada, Minnesota
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelJunior Elite (2011–12)
Senior Elite (2013–16)
NCAA (2017–Present)
Years on national team2013–2016 (US)
ClubTwin City Twisters
College teamOklahoma Sooners
Head coach(es)Sarah Jantzi
Rich Stenger
K.J. Kindler
RetiredJuly 12, 2016 (elite)
AwardsArthur Ashe Courage Award (2018)

NCAA Inspiration Award (2019)

Honda Sports Award (2019)

Margaret Mary "Maggie" Nichols (born September 12, 1997 in Little Canada, Minnesota) is an American collegiate artistic gymnast for the University of Oklahoma. She was the ninth NCAA gymnast to complete a Gym Slam,[1] the first to do so for Oklahoma,[2] and the first NCAA gymnast to have achieved it twice.

Previously, Nichols represented the United States in international competitions, including the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where she won a gold medal with the American team and an individual bronze medal on floor exercise.[3] At the USA Gymnastics National Championships, she finished third in the all-around in 2014 and second in the all-around in 2015. Before a knee injury in early 2016, she was a contender for the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[4]

Senior career[edit]

2013[edit]

Nichols was added to the national team in March and was selected to represent the United States at the City of Jesolo Trophy and the Germany-Romania-USA Friendly.[5] At the City of Jesolo Trophy, she finished first with the team and sixth in the all-around, and won a silver medal on the floor exercise.

At the U.S. Classic, Nichols finished sixth in the all-around, eleventh on uneven bars, eighth on balance beam, and fifth on floor.[6] At the National Championships, she placed fifth in the all-around[7] and on beam, sixth on bars, and ninth on floor.[8]

2014[edit]

At her second City of Jesolo Trophy, Nichols finished first with the team and third in the all-around.[9] At the Tokyo Cup, she finished third in the all-around.[10]

She went on to place third in the all-around and on floor at the U.S. Classic, fifth on uneven bars, and seventh on balance beam. At the National Championships in August, she placed third in the all-around behind Simone Biles and Kyla Ross, third on uneven bars and floor exercise, and fourth on balance beam.

Nichols helped the United States finish first at the Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Mississauga, Canada, and placed third in the all-around competition with a score of 55.500.[11] However, she dislocated her kneecap on floor exercise during the team final and withdrew from the selection camp for the 2014 World Championships team.[12]

2015[edit]

At the City of Jesolo Trophy, Nichols finished first with the team and seventh in the all-around.[13]

On July 25, she competed at the Secret U.S. Classic and finished third in the all-around, behind two-time reigning world all-around champion Simone Biles and 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas. She debuted her Amanar vault, scoring 15.80; finished fifth on bars and beam with scores of 14.95 and 14.45, respectively; and placed third on floor with a 14.80, for a total all-around score of 60.000.[14]

The following month, Nichols competed at the 2015 P&G Championships in Indianapolis. On the first night of competition, she led for the first three rotations, scoring 15.80 for her Amanar vault; 14.95 on bars; 14.40 on beam (she debuted several new skills, including a tucked Barani and a switch ring leap, and dismounted with a full-twisting double tuck, but incurred a one-tenth deduction for going overtime); and 14.55 on floor. Her all-around total for the night was 59.700, 1.400 points behind Biles.

On night two, she began on bars with a 14.8. During her beam warmup, she fell on her full-twisting double back dismount and decided to change it to a simpler double pike. She scored a 14.65, higher than her score on night one despite losing three-tenths in start value. On floor, she stumbled out of bounds on her double-double mount, incurring a three-tenth deduction, and scored a relatively low 14.15. She finished the competition on vault, where she scored 15.85 to finish in second place with a two-night total of 119.150.

At the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Nichols competed on vault, beam, and floor in the preliminary round. During the team final, she competed on all four events,[15] contributing an all-around total of 59.232 toward the U.S. women's gold-medal finish. She also qualified for the floor event final where she earned a bronze medal.

2016[edit]

Nichols competed at the 2016 AT&T American Cup on March 5,[16] scoring 59.699 to place second behind Gabby Douglas. Afterward, U.S. national team coordinator Márta Károlyi said, "Maggie showed again that I can rely on her".[17] This competition cemented Nichols as a contender for the 2016 Olympic team.

A month later, Nichols tore her meniscus while training her Amanar vault and had to withdraw from the 2016 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Seattle.[18] She underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and was out of competition for two months.[19]

In June, she returned to competition at the P&G Gymnastics Championships. She performed only on the uneven bars and balance beam, finishing 13th and 10th, respectively, and advanced to the 2016 Olympic Trials in July. There, she finished sixth in the all-around, fifth on vault, ninth on uneven bars, eighth on balance beam, and fourth on floor. She was not chosen for the Olympic team or as an alternate athlete. Marta explained the reason she was not chosen even as an alternate, was that while she had performed well at the Trials, her score was not in the top 3 on any event which made her of no possible benefit in a team final format.

A few days after the conclusion of the Olympic Trials on July 13, 2016, Nichols announced her retirement from elite gymnastics via Instagram and interview,[20] and said she was taking time to rest before starting her NCAA career at the University of Oklahoma in August.

College career[edit]

Nichols committed to the Oklahoma Sooners women's gymnastics team in 2015 with a full athletic scholarship.[21]

2016–17[edit]

In the 2016–2017 season, as a freshman majoring in health and exercise science, she made the competitive lineup on all four events and scored at least one perfect 10 on each.[1] As of Week 5, she led the NCAA standings in all four events and the all-around.[22] She finished the regular season in first place in the all-around, ahead of Utah's MyKayla Skinner; second on vault, behind Ashleigh Gnat of LSU; second on bars, behind Kyla Ross of UCLA; tied for second on beam with Oklahoma teammate Chayse Capps, behind UCLA's Katelyn Ohashi; and tied for first on floor with Skinner.[23] At the 2017 NCAA Championships, she had a surprising fall on beam, her first major mistake of the entire season, missing out on the all around podium despite being favored to win. However, she performed well on the other events, including bars in which she finished first in a six-way tie. She also helped Oklahoma qualify to the Super Six. In the Super Six final, Nichols scored a ten on beam – the same event that she fell on the day before – en route to Oklahoma's victory in the finals, defending their national title. This also ensured Oklahoma's first ever undefeated season in program history.

2017–18[edit]

In the 2017-2018 season she had another great season and at the 2018 NCAA Championships made up for her previous years failure in the All Around by winning the All Around. In the event finals, she scored a perfect ten on the uneven bars to tie for gold with Elizabeth Price of Stanford, and scored a 9.9625 on the floor to tie for gold with Katelyn Ohashi of UCLA.

2018–19[edit]

On December 13, 2018, it was announced that Nichols would receive the 2019 NCAA Inspiration Award for coming forward as "Athlete A" (the first to report former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar to USA Gymnastics) and publicly addressing the sexual abuse she endured. She was one of two recipients for 2019, alongside current NFL player Shaquem Griffin, who starred at UCF despite having only one hand.[24][25]

During the first match of the season, Nichols earned a perfect 10 on vault.[26] The following week Nichols sat out the competition after bruising her heel.[27] She spent the remainder of the season only competing on two events, uneven bars and balance beam, hoping to return to the all-around in the post-season.[28] Nichols helped Oklahoma earn their eighth straight Big 12 Conference Championship and individually Nichols won the balance beam title and was a co-champion on the uneven bars.[29]

At the 2019 NCAA Championships Nichols made her return to the all-around, where she won with a score of 39.7125, beating Kyla Ross of UCLA and Lexy Ramler of Minnesota. She additionally was co-champion on the vault alongside Ross, Kennedi Edney of LSU, and Derrian Gosbourne of Auburn and placed second on uneven bars behind Sarah Finnegan of LSU.[30] The following day Nichols helped Oklahoma win the team title and finish the season undefeated.[31]

On May 7 it was announced that Nichols would be awarded the Honda Sports Award for gymnastics for 2019, becoming the third Sooner to receive the award after softball player Keilani Ricketts and fellow gymnast Kelly Garrison. She beat out finalists Brenna Dowell, Sarah Finnegan, and Kyla Ross.[32] On May 15 Nichols was awarded the Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award.[33]

Career perfect 10.0[edit]

Season Date Event Meet
2017 Jan 21, 2017 Vault Oklahoma vs West Virginia
Feb 3, 2017 Balance Beam Oklahoma vs Denver, Nebraska & TWU
Feb 10, 2017 Floor Exercise Oklahoma vs Auburn
Feb 17, 2017 Balance Beam Oklahoma vs Georgia, LSU & Missouri
Mar 4, 2017 Uneven Bars Oklahoma vs Michigan
Mar 18, 2017 Vault Big 12 Championships
Apr 15, 2017 Balance Beam NCAA Super Six Finals
2018 Feb 4, 2018 Oklahoma vs UCLA
Feb 11, 2018 Oklahoma vs UNC
Mar 3, 2018 Vault Oklahoma vs Michigan
Balance Beam
Mar 16, 2018 Vault Oklahoma vs Alabama
Mar 18, 2018 Floor Exercise Oklahoma vs TWU
April 07,2018 Balance Beam NCAA Minneapolis Regionals
Apr 20, 2018 Uneven Bars NCAA Championship Semifinals
2019 Jan 5, 2019 Vault Oklahoma vs Arkansas
April 6, 2019 Uneven Bars Regional Finals

Regular season ranking[edit]

Season All-Around Vault Uneven Bars Balance Beam Floor Exercise
2017 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd (tie) 1st (tie)

Personal life[edit]

Nichols graduated from Roseville Area High School in 2016.[34]

In January 2018, Nichols came forward as one of the many victims sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, starting when she was 15. Additionally Nichols revealed that it was her coach who initially reported Nassar and his abuse to the USA Gymnastics staff:[35]

One day at practice, I was talking to my teammate, and brought up Dr. Nassar and his treatments. When I was talking to her, my coach overheard. I had never told my coach about these treatments. After hearing our conversation she asked me more questions about it and said it doesn't seem right ... so she did the right thing and reported this abuse to the USA Gymnastics staff[36]

On May 16, 2018, it was announced that Nichols and the other survivors would be awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.[37]

Competitive history[edit]

Junior[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2011 Nastia Liukin Cup 20
J.O. National Championships 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Elite Qualifier 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 5
American Classic 8 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s)
2012 American Classic 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7
U.S. Classic 7
U.S. National Championships 11 10 14 10 11

Senior[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2013 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 2nd, silver medalist(s)
GER-ROU-USA Friendly 1st, gold medalist(s)
U.S. Classic 6 11 8 5
U.S. National Championships 5 6 5 9
2014 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Tokyo World Cup 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
U.S. Classic 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 5 7 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
U.S. National Championships 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 4 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Pan American Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
2015 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st, gold medalist(s) 7
U.S. Classic 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 5 5 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
U.S. National Championships 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 4 5
World Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
2016 American Cup 2nd, silver medalist(s)
U.S. National Championships 13 10
U.S. Olympic Trials 6 5 9 8 4

NCAA[edit]

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2017 Big-12 Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 8
NCAA Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 29 5 1st, gold medalist(s) 10
2018 Big-12 Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s)
NCAA Championships 2nd, silver medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 6 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s)
2019 Big-12 Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s)
NCAA Championships 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 6 7

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maine, D'Arcy (March 7, 2017). "Check out all five college gymnastics routines that earned perfect 10s over the weekend". espnW. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  2. ^ Gonzalez, Jason (February 13, 2017). "Perfect 10 again: Little Canada's Maggie Nichols is college gymnastics' superstar". Star Tribune. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Fincher, Julia (April 1, 2016). "Who is ... Maggie Nichols". NBC Olympics. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  4. ^ Frederick, Jace (July 12, 2016). "Little Canada native Maggie Nichols falls short of Rio". Pioneer Press. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "USA Gymnastics Announces Women's European Tour Team". USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics. March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "2013 Secret U.S. Classic" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. July 27, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "2013 P&G Championships – Women Day 2" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "2013 P&G Championships – Women Day 2 Event Results" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "Complete Results: 2014 City of Jesolo Trophy". Gymnastike. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Tokyo Cup 2014 World Cup Serie C II". Gymnastics Results. Retrieved August 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "USA Wins Women's Team Gold At Senior Pan American Championships". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  12. ^ "Women's World Championships Team Selection Training Camp Begins Sept. 15". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  13. ^ "Maggie Nichols". usagym.org. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  14. ^ "2015 Secret U.S. Classic". usagym.org. July 25, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Axon, Rachel (October 26, 2015). "USA turns to Maggie Nichols in team final at world championships". USA TODAY. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "USA Gymnastics announces U.S. athletes for 2016 AT&T American Cup". Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  17. ^ Radnofsky, Louise (March 5, 2016). "Gabby Douglas, Maggie Nichols Take Top Spots at AT&T American Cup". Retrieved June 7, 2016 – via Wall Street Journal.
  18. ^ "Knee injury forces U.S. gymnast Maggie Nichols out of Pacific Rims". ESPN. April 5, 2016. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  19. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (April 12, 2016). "Maggie Nichols out 4 to 6 weeks after knee surgery". Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  20. ^ https://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=18945&prog=
  21. ^ Kraft, Chelsey (November 11, 2015). "Best In Class: Sooners Secure Next Generation". soonersports.com. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  22. ^ "Maggie Nichols Bio". OU Athletics. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  23. ^ Hopkins, Lauren (March 28, 2017). "NCAA Final Regular Season Standings". The Gymternet. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
  24. ^ "2019 NCAA Inspiration Award: Maggie Nichols" (Press release). NCAA. December 13, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  25. ^ "2019 NCAA Inspiration Award: Shaquem Griffin" (Press release). NCAA. December 13, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "OU women's gymnastics: Perfect 10s still special for Maggie Nichols". The Oklahoman. January 10, 2019.
  27. ^ Stephens, Jess (January 19, 2019). "Oklahoma edges out North Carolina and Ball State for win in tri-meet". Chalk Warrior.
  28. ^ Palmateer, Tyler (March 3, 2019). "How a limited Maggie Nichols steadied No. 1 Oklahoma in victory over No. 2 UCLA". The Norman Transcript.
  29. ^ "MAKE IT EIGHT". Oklahoma Sooners. March 23, 2019.
  30. ^ "Nichols wins NCAA all-around title". USA Gymnastics. April 19, 2019.
  31. ^ "Oklahoma wins women's NCAA team title". USA Gymnastics. April 20, 2019.
  32. ^ "Nichols wins Honda Sport Award for gymnastics". Sooner Sports. May 7, 2019.
  33. ^ "Nichols Receives Wilma Rudolph Award". USA Gymnastics. May 15, 2019.
  34. ^ "Roseville Olympic gymnastics hopeful Maggie Nichols injured – Twin Cities". Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  35. ^ "Gymnast Maggie Nichols was first to report abuse by Larry Nassar". NBC. January 9, 2018.
  36. ^ "Gymnast Maggie Nichols writes in letter she was first to alert USAG to abuse by Larry Nassar". ESPN. January 9, 2018.
  37. ^ "Larry Nassar Sexual Assault Survivors to Receive Arthur Ashe Award For Courage At ESPYs". Sports Illustrated. May 16, 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Peng-Peng Lee
Honda Sports Award
(gymnastics)

2019
Succeeded by
Incumbent