Nicole Ahsinger’s path to the Olympics began with bad eyesight and a father’s lie. As a toddler, Ahsinger was unusually clumsy and always running into things. Her father thought gymnastics classes might help her coordination, but her mother, a former artistic gymnast, ruled it out because she didn’t want three-year-old Ahsinger getting injured. Her father snuck her to a class anyway, and when she came back the first thing she said to her mother was, “I want to be an Olympian!”
It turned out that Ahsinger only needed glasses to help her stay on her feet, but her love of the sport stuck. She started out training in three different gymnastics disciplines, individual trampoline, double mini trampoline and tumbling.
While growing up in Scripps Ranch, California, Ahsinger attended Jerabek Elementary, Marshall Middle School and Scripps High School until her sophomore year. She also trained in Poway at So Cal TTC.
By 2014, when she competed in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and finished fifth, she had quit the other two to focus on trampoline and her ever-present Olympic dream. Ahsinger has two silver medals from the 2015 and 2016 USA Gymnastics Championships. She won her spot on the U.S. Olympic team over the 2016 national champion, Shaylee Dunavin, due to her combined results from three Olympic selection competitions.