For U.S. gymnast Madison Kocian, her second-place routine on uneven bars reflected her first-rate reliability and confidence throughout the Rio Games. Pictured: Kocian embraces coach Laurent Landi after her routine the apparatus final.
Last in a series of flashbacks to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where IG correspondent John Crumlish was a sport writer for the Olympic News Service.
For U.S. gymnast Madison Kocian, her second-place routine on uneven bars reflected her first-rate reliability and confidence throughout the Rio Games.
"I've been consistent this whole trip," said Kocian, who was a gold medalist with the U.S. team in Rio. "I don't think I've missed a bars routine, so I just went out there and did the same thing."
After watching the all-around final earlier in the Games, Kocian said she and the rest of the the U.S. team would rely on their psychological preparation to guide them through the remainder of the competition.
"You still have to stay focused," said Kocian, who was one of four gymnasts that tied for gold on uneven bars at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow. "Right now it's all more mental than physical for us, especially because I have just one event left. I think my mentality will stay the same - just go in and hit the cleanest routine that I can."
Kocian said she hoped to deliver her ideal routine in the final, where she went on to finish second to Russia's Aliya Mustafina.
"From qualifications, I saw a couple handstands that I cleaned up in the team final," Kocian said. "There were some little form breaks in team final that I can fix up. I'm happy I can still improve, and that it wasn't my best routine although some people say it was. For me, it's all little details at this point."
Even prior to winning silver in the uneven bars final, Kocian foreshadowed the attention the U.S. team would enjoy following the Games. Kocian's post-Rio agenda has included performances in the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions, a reception with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, a presenting role at the MTV Video Music Awards and enrollment at UCLA.
"There's definitely more attention on us now, but heading into the bars final, I will just try to block most of it out and stay focused on the goal I have for that," Kocian said. "But definitely when we get home I know it's going to be crazy."
The September 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine is a special issue devoted to reports, photos, quotes and results of the Rio Olympic Games. The October 2016 issue includes a photo gallery and more behind-the-scenes coverage including notes, quotes and anecdotes. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or order back issues, click here.