Hometown: Little Canada • High school: Roseville
Gymnastics club: Twin City Twisters • College: Oklahoma
2018: Nichols was No. 1 in the NCAA all-around rankings the entire season, culminating with her national championship in the all-around in April. She also was co-winner of NCAA individual titles in uneven bars and floor exercise and was runner-up on balance beam. Nichols earned eight perfect-10 scores and recorded a “Gym Slam” — a perfect score in every event — for the second year in a row.
Awards: Nichols won several honors this year for her part in exposing Larry Nassar’s serial sexual abuse. On Jan. 23, she will receive the NCAA Inspiration Award, given to a college athlete, coach or administrator who demonstrated perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome a life-altering situation and is now a role model. At the ESPY Awards in July, she and other survivors of the scandal were given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The survivors also were among the winners of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year.
Before 2018: A member of the U.S. national team from 2012-16, Nichols won gold in the team competition and bronze in floor exercise at the 2015 world championships. She was the only member of the U.S. team to compete in all four events in the team final. Nichols was runner-up to Simone Biles in the all-around at the 2015 U.S. championships and has multiple medals in international competition. In 2016, she tore the meniscus in her right knee about three months before the Olympic trials; in a gritty performance, she finished sixth in the all-around but was not picked for the team.