Like all great athletes, he makes the most difficult things look simple
They call him superman. Not without reason.
What Kohei Uchimura does on a gymnastics floor, or bars for that matter, cannot be emulated by ordinary mortals. The three-time world champion from Japan will be one of the stars at the London Olympics, no doubt about that.
The consensus in gymnastics circles is that the 23-year-old may only need to turn up at the O2 Arena to win the men’s all-around gold. Like the Spanish football team at a major football competition.
Last year in Tokyo, Uchimura became the first male to win three world all-around titles. And he had completed his hat-trick in great style too, with a score of 93.631 points, 3.101 more than the silver medallist Philipp Boy of Germany. He had also made it to the finals of five of the six apparatus and won gold in floor exercise and bronze in horizontal bar.
“Three times in a row, this is history,” was all Boy could say. John Orozco, a U.S. rival, said, “It was a show.”
It truly was. Even a greater show than the one at the 2010 world championship in Rotterdam, where also Boy had to be the best man. His maiden world title was in London.
He is happy that he would be performing at the same venue at the Olympics. “I managed to perform well there,” he told reporters in Tokyo recently. “I believe I can do so this time, too.”
We better believe him.
London is his second Olympics. In Beijing, he had won the sliver in the all-around — despite two falls on pommel horse — and in the team event.
Since then he has earned the reputation as one of the greatest male gymnasts of all time; many even rate him as the greatest.
He is also one of the loveliest to watch. Like all great athletes, he makes the most difficult things look simple.
“I think the performance that touches people’s hearts is beautiful,” he once said. “So I want to show such a performance.”
London is waiting, with the rest of the world.
Keywords: 2012 London Olympics