|2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist Madison Kocian made her collegiate gymnastics debut for UCLA in Los Angeles on Saturday.
After winning the all-around in her collegiate gymnastics debut for UCLA on Saturday, 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist Madison Kocian told IG she enjoyed the successful launch of this new phase of her career.
Kocian, a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team and winner of the silver medal on uneven bars at last summer's Rio Games, led UCLA to victory over the University of Arkansas on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. She won the all-around title and tied for first place on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
"It was a big transition with a new team and new coaches and everything like that, but it's nice to have a little bit of something different," said Kocian, the 2015 co-world champion on uneven bars. "I'm really excited just to be out there. I really had fun."
Kocian, whose UCLA teammates include fellow freshman and 2012 Olympic team gold medalist Kyla Ross, said the presence of Rio teammate Simone Biles at Saturday's meet inspired and relaxed her. Biles won four gold medals, including the all-around, in Rio.
"I saw Simone after bars, so I was actually halfway through the meet," said Kocian, whose classes this quarter include Life Sciences, English Composition, Rhetoric and Language, and Holocaust: History and Memory. "Yesterday she told me she would be on the sidelines cheering me on and just to remember to have fun, because that's the most important thing. She was really excited to see my floor routine because college gymnastics is a whole different style from elite. She really enjoyed it. She said, 'It was so cute!'"