In less than a week, 23-year-old Nicole Ahsinger will compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 5-foot, 4-inch trampoline gymnast took third place at the Brescia World Cup in Italy, back in June.
Her parents Steve Ahsinger and Michelle Taylor live in Scripps Ranch.
“Physically not there, but mentally we’re in Tokyo right now,” Taylor said. “She FaceTime’s us and talks to us every day so that we are part of the experience and of course we draw on Rio so that we kind of, you know, live vicariously through it.”
“Over the moon, over the top. So excited for her,” Steve Ahsinger said. “I’m glad she’s repeating it.”
Nicole Ahsinger finished 15th in the 2016 Rio Olympics and was the sole U.S. representative in the sport. On top of that, she was the youngest in the field at 18.
“What could go right for her: everything. If that routine is the way that she’s trained it, that girl’s gonna be on the podium and then I’m gonna get really emotional,” Michelle Taylor said.
Nicole Ahsinger may not have name recognition yet, but she’s on the verge of making history. The United States, despite being a powerhouse in gymnastics, has never had an athlete medal on the trampoline.
Nicole Ahsinger and her family hope she’ll reach new heights in Tokyo. They say her sport is very difficult and that she must be precise in order to medal.
“The thing is, if you stop during the routine then it’s over. You can’t get back on and complete. So, I always told her very, very young; you can’t win if you don’t complete,” Michelle Taylor said. “She’s got a very good percentage of hit ratio that a lot of the others do not. So, I’m nervous because one little, tiny lean could, could end it.”
Her parents are a little disappointed they can’t physically be in Tokyo and support Nicole like they did in Rio, but they said they understand the safety precautions.
“They get tested every single day and if she comes up positive, it’s over, she’s out. So, I’m nervous about that but she’s vaccinated, and she wears the mask and she’s been very diligent about keeping her distance,” Michelle Taylor said.
Ashinger will compete Thursday, July 29 on the trampoline at 9 p.m. Her parents will watch from home with family and friends.