Gymnastics Olympic Trials: Get to Know Rio Hopeful Maggie Nichols
18-year-old gymnast Maggie Nichols is already a two-time world champion medalist
Maggie Nichols is looking to join gymnastics teammates Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles and Aly Raisman as a household name.
The U.S. national team member is a two-time world champion medalist who opened the year by finishing second in the AT&T American Cup all-around behind Gabby Douglas. Nichols, who hopes to make the 5-woman team going to Rio following the olympic trials (concluding Sunday night) was also the only U.S. gymnast who competed in all four events in the World Championships team final, earning a bronze medal for her a floor exercise.
But behind all her accolades is a teen who loves Pretty Little Liars, rom coms and Justin Bieber. Here are five things to know about the young athlete.
1. Despite the Long Hours Training, She Has a Social Life Outside Gymnastics
She missed the prom this year for training, but Nichols got to walk with her classmates at graduation. When she’s away from her high school friends, Nichols bonds with her teammates. “We are so close,” she said of the girls. “We watch movies together and do everything together. We don’t think about gymnastics when we are outside of it.”
2. She’s Dating a Gymnast
In the middle of her busy training schedule, Nichols has found time to date! She’s currently in a relationship with 19-year-old gymnast Anton Stephenson, who calls her “the girl of my dreams.” The pair have been dating for over a year.
“It’s nice because he understands everything I’m going through because he goes through the same things,” Nichols recently told reporters, including PEOPLE, a media summit in Los Angeles. “It’s nice to have someone who understands and gets it.”
3. She Has a Celebrity Crush
Nichols and Stephenson may be happy together, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a celebrity crush!
The Minnesota native admitted to PEOPLE that she’s crushing on Scott Eastwood, adding that his film, The Longest Ride, is her favorite.
Related Video: 5 Things to Know About Simone Biles
4. She’s a Belieber …
Among her guilty pleasures, Nichols lists Justin Bieber.. “I’m a Justin Bieber fan,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love his new album. My favorite song on the album is ‘Love Yourself.’ I like it all!”
But Nichols still has plenty of love for other artists. She has a playlist of songs she listens to before competition, and said Charlie Puth‘s “One Call Away” has been her favorite song before competing.
5. … And She’s a Believer
According to her Twitter profile, Nichols identifies as a “Christ follower.” She often uses her social media platform to send out inspirational messages – many of them channeling her religious teachings.
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’ ” she writes in her pinned tweet.
• Reporting by ROSE MINUTAGLIO