Adjusting from Elite to UCLA

12:38 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

We sat down to catch up with Felicia Hano (Fish) as she heads to UCLA in pursuit of furthering her education and partaking in college gymnastics. This is a follow up to our interview with Hano earlier this year, in February. You can read that interview here.

At the time of this interview, Fish had just returned from orientation where she signed up for her Pre-Business Economics Major classes for Fall quarter. Her schedule looks something like four hours of conditioning and training Monday through Friday followed by her classes. “In summer, the team is taking pretty much the same classes. We’re taking German Philosophy and then we’re taking a World Arts & Cultures class. It’s to get GEs (general education requirements) out of the way.”

Fish is currently training at West Coast Elite where she had initially trained before training for elite with Gym-Max. She visits Gym-Max once a week, due to the long commute and has an established mutual understanding of the schedule with Coach Jenny.

Hano’s elite career came to an abrupt end when she was injured on vault during podium training at the 2015 Secret US Classic. She later had surgery for multiple torn ankle ligaments. She spent the remainder of the pre-collegiate season rehabilitating the injury and getting skills ready for her college career. “In college, the main focus is staying healthy. Miss Val (Valerie Kondos Field), Chris (Waller), and Randy (Lane) don’t want me to do anything that I could possibly hurt myself doing. Especially for freshman year after coming off from an injury. I’ll do the skills I’m comfortable with and (can) compete and perform really well.”

(You can also find video of her bar routine on the Gym-Max youtube)

Recovering from the injury was a difficult process as the tumbling star recalls missing just that, tumbling. “I was most happy to get back doing double layouts because that is my skill. Everytime I do them, I love them. That’ll be in my floor routine for sure!” As a freshman, Fish will “test the waters” with her collegiate routine but hopes to “throw some harder skills” during sophomore year when she “feel[s] more comfortable.”

This year, with the help of Miss Val, she hopes to stray from “Choosing Dauntless” to a more serious and character driven routine to add a little flare and sass to her floor performance. “I know what type of music I want. I have songs that I like but it’s the process of putting them together and making sure it all flows together. It’s definitely different than elite because elite I was so straight faced, so focused. In college, and Miss Val knows too, in college, I want to do something a little sassier. So hopefully some smiles in this season coming up.”

When asked about her thoughts on the US Olympic team she beamed with pride, “I’m excited to watch the Olympics especially Team USA because I know those girls on a personal level and it makes me even happier to see their dreams come true.” In regards to whom she was closest with on the Olympic team, she responded with Simone Biles since Simone had been verbally committed to UCLA in the past and would interact with the future class on a regular basis. Fish was especially supportive of Laurie “because she has overcome and gone through a lot with injuries.” She also acknowledged the depth of Team USA by suggesting that they could send three different teams and still to do well.

The UCLA gymnastics team will most likely hold viewing sessions for the Olympics. It would be of great importance to her and Kyla Ross since “Kyla and I have gone to camps and we know those girls and are really happy for them and want to see them do well.”

A photo posted by fishhh💋 (@felicia_hano) on

Fish is excited to join her close friend and former West Coast elite teammate Hallie Mossett, and Gym Max teammate Kyla Ross at UCLA. “I talk to Hallie on a daily basis. We used to train together at West Coast Elite back in the day. I’m really close with her and she told me, ‘If you ever need anything just ask me. If you need advice, just come to me.’” She finds that “familiarity will be around them” and the Glenn twins (Anna and Grace) will make the college experience a memorable one. Her Gym Max coaches, Jenny and Howie will try to attend every home meet to support Hano, Ross, and Team UCLA.

It’s been an inspiration watching you recover from injury and take on other challenges. We wish you luck in your collegiate endeavors as you embark on this journey!

Special thanks to KRAppreciation.


  1. Aw, so good to see how she's doing. Go Bruins!

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