Gymnast Marcel Nguyen stops: “Like a crystal vase” – Sport

Gymnast Marcel Nguyen stops: “Like a crystal vase” – Sport

Thousands of fans waiting at the airport, screaming girls, flashbulbs: Als Marcel Nguyen arrived in Hong Kong on a trip before the turn of the year 2012/13, he must have felt like a pop star. By now he should have realized that he had achieved something special at the Olympic Games in London almost five months earlier. There the gymnast had won two silver medals, one on his special apparatus parallel bars, one in the all-around. And that not only caused enthusiasm in the Far East, but also in Germany: In the individual all-around competition, male German gymnasts before him had last won medals in Berlin in 1936.

So it was not surprising that Marcel Nguyen, 35, rated the London games as his greatest sporting success at the moment of his farewell, not least because of the enormous popularity in Asia that he gained as the son of a Munich mother and a Vietnamese father . On Wednesday, Nguyen put aside his big goal, the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and announced the immediate end of his career: “My body didn’t keep up, I’ve reached a point where I have to say that it no longer makes sense.” , he said at a press event in Fellbach, near his adopted home of Stuttgart.

Two cruciate ligament tears, shoulder surgery, serious wrist injury: “It’s no longer fun like that.”

He “tried everything again, put everything behind him and worked with different physiotherapists”. Ultimately, however, the physical impairments after two cruciate ligament tears, a shoulder operation and the severe wrist injury that cost him participation in the European Championships in Munich in 2022 are too serious: “I was last training in the morning and first had to think about which device I should do at all can. It’s not fun anymore.”

Waleri Belenki, who has trained Nguyen since moving from Bavaria to the Swabian Gymnastics Federation, illustrated the exceptional position that the 1.65-metre-tall muscle man has in gymnastics: “Someone like Marcel is born maybe every 200 or 300 years. He has a suitable body, is lively, strong, does not gain weight and orients itself well in the air.” Germany will have to “wait a long time” for another silver medal in the all-around. And yet Nguyen’s fragile body was always a handicap, according to Belenki: “For me it was like a crystal vase, you had to carry it carefully to success.”

At TSV Unterhaching, which has meanwhile produced another world-class gymnast in Lukas Dauser, Nguyen began his sport as a small child and later trained at the state base under Kurt Szillier. Shortly after graduating from high school, he won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Stuttgart with Fabian Hambüchen and Philipp Boy, moved there two years later and from then on did gymnastics for the Swabian Bundesliga club KTV Straubenhardt. Seven European Championship medals followed, including three gold and 24 German championship titles, including eight on bars alone.

In the future, Nguyen will run a hair removal studio in Munich

He was close friends with many of his gymnastics colleagues, but also with coach Belenki, as the coach emphasized in Stuttgart on Wednesday. This has only been put to the test once: when Nguyen had a large tattoo done across his chest. The coach feared worse ratings from the judges. “I tried to dissuade him for three months. Until one day he said: Today is the appointment.” To reassure Belenki, Nguyen covered the tattoo at the first competitions, including the London Games.

Speaking of cosmetics: The successful athlete has already found a new professional field, for around seven weeks he has been running a hair removal studio in Munich. “I felt like doing something completely new,” he said; it’s going “even better than I imagined.” A coaching career is currently out of the question because of his wrist problems. But Marcel Nguyen will always be connected to his sport. In the spring, he was one of only seven gymnasts to travel to the G-7 summit in Hiroshima at the invitation of the Japanese government. Screaming girls are not to be expected there, however.

Source link