IOWA CITY, Iowa — The first part of standing out is establishing an identity and before even talking to her, senior gymnast Nicole Chow does just that with her nickname alone – Chowwey.
But if you ask her, it’s not what she’s called, but what she does and how she does it that makes her stand out.
“What makes me stand out is my passion for what I do and who I am,” Chow said. “This program has helped shape me into who I am today, and has given me the opportunity and a reason to stand out. It has given me the confidence to express my genuine emotions and to show my passion for this sport with every performance.”
Chow’s passion shines through and UI head coach Larissa Libby and the rest of the GymHawks have noticed.
“When I think about the most influential person and the most passionate, she instantly comes to mind,” Libby said. “Chow tells the story of our program very well in what she embodies and how her career has spanned from freshman year to now.”
The 2018 All-Big Ten performer hails from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada, and with an entire country to choose from, it was Hawkeye nation that brought Chow to Iowa City in 2015. Even though she couldn’t find the state on a map, it was where Chow matured and now is ready to show who she has become.
“I want people to see who I’ve grown to be; fun, thrilling, and inspiring,” Chow said. “Pounding my fist to my chest and pointing up to our undying Hawkeye fans, drawing everyone in to watch us, getting the crowd involved, and allowing them to feel the unquestionable excitement and love for this program. It’s what drew me here.”
While there is much that stands out about Chow, for her, leaving something behind will cement her legacy among other GymHawk greats.
“Stand out means having the opportunity to leave something with this program that is so uniquely you, that it will inspire every class that comes in after you,” Chow said. “This is something that makes Iowa gymnastics so special because this family isn’t just the current team. But every generation, past, present, and future that has, and will leave their legacy with this program.”
Chow stands out because her family does the same.
“This program stands out because it inspires and empowers the next generation to find what makes them stand out,” Chow said.
The GymHawks return to action with a meet against Minnesota today at 4 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The meet will serve as the pink meet and fans are encourage to wear pink.