Gold Medal Winning Olympian, Madison Kocian, Sets the Bar High for Gymnastics – Episode 4


The Recap

Madison Kocian’s reputation precedes her—her numerous accolades are just a representation of her hard-working, determined, and accomplished self. Some of her awards include winning the team gold medal with the “Final Five” and the uneven bars silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, becoming the 2015 world champion on bars, and being a member of the UCLA gymnastics team. Towards the end of the season, Madison came back from shoulder surgery and was still able to help her team win the NCAA championship title this year.

In this episode, Madison speaks about her gymnastics career both in the elite world and in the college world, where she competes for UCLA. She speaks about her experience training for the Olympics and how she learned to overcome her injuries and what she did to become a better gymnast, physically and mentally. Aside from gymnastics, Madison mentions how she is able to live, or at least tries to live, a normal life. In addition, Madison shares some advice for listeners on how to succeed as gymnasts as she looks back on her elite career.

Episode Highlights

  • 02:24 – Sam’s first memory of Madison was at Madison’s first championships in 2009
  • 03:03 – Madison’s first memory of Sam
  • 04:40 – Gymnastics has four “separate” sports within it
  • 05:14 – Madison is a rising junior in college and has recently turned 21
  • 06:25 – What age did Madison start gymnastics and when did she decide she wanted to go to the Olympics
  • 08:05 – Going through the “elite time” and Madison’s relationship with her parents
  • 09:37 – Gymnasts can be normal too!
  • 10:57 – Your drive for gymnastics has to come from yourself
  • 11:24 – Dealing with injuries as a young gymnast
  • 13:04 – Some other ways Madison became a better gymnast while she was injured
  • 13:28 – You have to take time off and let your body heal after an injury
  • 14:48 – How Madison handles negative thoughts and doubt
  • 16:42 – Coming back in the nick of time for the NCAA championships
  • 18:45 – Madison’s thoughts on college gymnastics
  • 20:06 – Reflecting back on freshman year of college
  • 21:17 – Giving your all every single day and the gas tank analogy
  • 22:21 – The difference between college gymnastics and elite gymnastics and which one Madison prefers
  • 23:56 – Something Madison likes about elite gymnastics over college gymnastics
  • 24:25 – Something Madison likes about college gymnastics over elite gymnastics
  • 25:09 – An unforgettable moment so far in college
  • 28:05 – The hardest part mentally for Madison on training for the Olympics
  • 30:39 – Some advice for gymnasts from Madison looking back on her elite career
  • 32:37 – A story about Madison and Aly as roommates during the Olympics
  • 33:45 – What happens when you’re late to an assignment, according to Sam
  • 35:32 – How big of an influence it was for Madison to train at the same gym as Carly and Nastia
  • 37:56 – Laurent Landi as Madison’s head coach
  • 41:16 – A pep talk Laurent gave to Madison that still means a lot to her
  • 43:48 – Madison on Laurent coaching Simone Biles
  • 45:31 – What contributed most to Madison’s success as an elite
  • 46:32 – Madison knew she always wanted to do college gymnastics
  • 47:18 – Why did Madison pick UCLA
  • 48:21 – A life lesson Miss Val taught Madison
  • 51:42 – Some rapid fire questions
  • 54:35 – Madison’s biggest fear
  • 55:29 – What’s one way listeners can get one percent better

Tweetable Quotes

Links Mentioned

Destira: Gymnastics Leotards & Accessories

Tumbl Trak: Gymnastic, Cheer, Dance, Martial Arts and Special Needs Equipment

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