Simone Biles Gives Shout Out To UCLA Gymnast Nia Dennis After Season Opener Clinching Floor Exercise Routine Win
Nia Dennis is a UCLA Senior gymnast, a 2018 NCAA team champion, four-time All-Pac12 honoree, a US National team member from 2013-2015, and a 2019 First-Team All-American on bars.
And it seems the start of the year is off to a good start for Dennis as her team won the season opener in a close meet, 196.150-195.950 against ASU.
According to UCLA: “A short-handed UCLA gymnastics squad was lifted by inspired performances by several newcomers and opened the 2021 season with a 196.150-195.950 victory over No. 15 Arizona State (1-2). The Bruins (1-0) clinched the meet on the final routine when (Dennis) scored a 9.950 on floor exercise”.
Here’s that floor exercise routine that helped UCLA get the season opening win:
That floor exercise routine would catch the attention of Simone Biles:
Michelle Obama also chimed in :
“Now that’s what I call fierce!” Obama said. “You’re a star, Nia Dennis!”
That left Dennis speechless.
According to People, the soundtrack to the floor routine was “set to a soundtrack filled with songs from Black musicians including Kendrick Lamar, Tupac Shakur, Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Megan Thee Stallion, and Soulja Boy”.
UCLA noted the adversity the team faced but how they came together and pulled off a close win to start the season.
“Norah Flatley tweaked her ankle in warmups, taking her out of the competition. She was replaced on bars and beam by two teammates who had never competed for the Bruins on those events before – Pauline Tratz on bars and Savannah Kooyman on beam – and each delivered with a hit routine…Sara Taubman earned her first shot at the competitive lineup on uneven bars…she came through big with a stuck double layout dismount and a score of 9.825, with one judge awarding her a 9.9.”
“I really couldn’t be any more proud of our team,” Chris Waller, UCLA gymnastics head coach, said. “The team love they showed, the heart they showed in getting themselves to be confident with so little preparation, the resilience, the pride they took in each other and in their performances …I just couldn’t say enough about how proud I am of the character of the team…one of the most memorable moments of my coaching career.”
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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