By Susan Williams

It may seem like NCAA Gymnastics phenom Maggie Nichols never has time for a break, always traveling and training, pushing toward her next goal, but when the Oklahoma sophomore and Worlds gold medalist isn’t striving for perfection, she leads a normal, relatively ordinary life as a college student.

Feature Photo by Maggie Nichols

Oklahoma Gymnastics’ Maggie Nichols jogs into Sam Viersen Gymnastics Center, the gym that she spends most of her days in, clutching her phone and car keys. “I definitely thought I was gonna be late,” she says, slightly out of breath.

Dressed down with her elbow-length hair half in braids — “I have a LOT of hair,” she laughs, “and I didn’t really do anything with it today” — wearing black leggings and a teal “Together We Rise” t-shirt from a recent dual meet with UCLA, Nichols chatted with Inside Gymnastics about her past, present and future for our April 2018 cover story.

When she’s not sitting down for interviews, here’s how the Sooner sophomore and World gold medalist usually spends her time…

“We always have a day off after a meet, because we need to rest our bodies and do rehab and all of that.”

“A normal [post-meet] day is wake up at 7 a.m., eat breakfast — I have oatmeal every single morning — and get ready in ten minutes, because I don’t care how I look, as you can see [laughs].”

“Then I go to the training room — every single day — get therapy, ice; Just get my body right. Then I probably have class.”

“After that, it’s unpack, do laundry — don’t have my mom to do that anymore, sadly — then homework.”

On a more typical day, chore time is replaced with a once-daily practice at noon, which typically lasts between three and four hours. In the pre-season, the OU women also have 6 a.m. morning conditioning.

“I don’t actually mind morning conditioning. I like to get it done with, so when we come back, it’s just gymnastics.”

“After practice, we get a ten-minute massage every day, which is really nice. Then I go home and eat dinner or, sometimes, we have dinner as a team.”

“If I’m cooking, I usually just make chicken and vegetables, because I don’t have a lot of time.  I like to cook, though.”

“Then, it’s homework, maybe some tutoring, and, finally, just hang out and chill.”

Now a sophomore, Nichols shares an apartment with three of her Sooner teammates, including BFF Brehanna Showers, Brenna Dowell and Alex Marks.

“We do see each other a lot, but we don’t have class together, and we kind of all do our own thing, though I’m with Bre (Showers) a lot. She’s kind of my person here.”

“I don’t have too much [free] time, but when I do, I like to watch movies. Rom-coms are my favorite. Things like The Last Song or The Longest Ride. [So,] yeah, I guess I just like rom not com. I mean, they usually have happy endings, at least. I’m not a crier. Bre is a crier.”

“I also like to online shop. Lululemon… It’s a problem. Spend a lot of money on that. A lot of money. PacSun, Pink… If I could live in athletic wear I would. I mean, I kind of do now, but what am I going to do when I get out out of college? I like shoes, but we get a lot of shoes here, so it’s mainly clothes.”

“Other than that, I like to get my nails done. French for competition, cause it’s got to be natural, but in the summer I branch out. Go a little crazy.”

“I like to go bowling, play mini golf. I’m up for anything”

“But, honestly, my [perfect] Saturday night is just hanging out in my apartment with my roommates, on the couch, watching a movie, eating some popcorn.”

Catch more of Maggie and her story in the April 2018 issue of Inside Gymnastics, available now at!