Gymnast Madison Kocian was born in 1997 in Texas. Known for high-octane skills on the uneven bars, Kocian has helped the US National Team take home gold at the World Championships in 2014 and 2015. She's also won individual silver medals for the uneven bars in 2014 and 2016. She won an Olympic gold medal as a member of the 2016 U.S. women's gymnastics team, nicknamed "The Final Five," and a silver medal in the individual uneven bars event.
Early Life and Gymnastics Beginnings
Gymnast Madison Kocian was born on June 15, 1997 in Dallas, Texas. She is the elder of two children born to parents Thomas and Cindy Kocian. Like many gymnasts, Kocian began her career early at age six when she was enrolled in the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) in Plano, Texas. Throughout her training and competitions, she's excelled in all disciplines but took to the uneven bars in particular. At the age of 12, she was named to the Junior US National Team. She closed out her Junior career in 2012. That same year, she broke her wrist doing a handspring on the balance beam causing her to be sidelined with a lengthy and painful recovery period.
Kocian rallied back in 2013, kicking off her Senior career by accruing even more experience and ultimately making the Senior US National Team. She competed in the qualifying rounds of the 2014 World Championships in China, but came up short behind Simone Biles, Kyla Ross and Mykayla Skinner. However, she did compete in the uneven bars event and helped Team USA take home a gold. Kocian had delayed extensive surgery on her wrist so she could compete in the championships and after the event, she underwent the surgery and spent months recovering and building back her strength.
In 2015, Kocian was again named to the Senior National Team and competed at the World Championships in Scotland where she found herself in an unprecedented four-way tie for individual gold for the uneven bars alongside Viktoria Komova, Daria Spiridonova and Fan Yilin. She also was part of the all-around gold-winning team.
Road to Rio Olympics
In July 2016 Kocian clinched a coveted spot on the 2016 Olympic team. She joined Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez as the core women’s gymnastics competitors representing the United States at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in August 2016.
On August 9, 2016, Kocian helped the U.S. women's gymnastics team win the gold with an impressive score of 15.933 on the uneven bars. Kocian shared the team gold with Douglas, Raisman, Biles and Hernandez, a team which calls themselves “The Final Five.”
Raisman explained the meaning behind the team nickname on the Today Show: “We're the Final Five because this is [coach] Marta [Karolyi's] last Olympics and without her none of this would have been possible . . .We wanted to do it for her just because she's there with us every single day.”
She added: "This is the last Olympics where there's a five-girl team. The next Olympics is only going to be a four-person team."
The Final Five are the third American women’s gymnastic team to win gold, following team victories in 1996 and 2012.
Kocian went on to win a silver medal in the individual uneven bars event. She scored 15.833, right behind Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina, who took home gold with a score of 15.900.
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