Kohei UCHIMURA

Japan JPN

Artistic Gymnastics

  • Olympic Medals
    3 G
    4 S
  • Games participations
    3
  • First Olympic Games
    Beijing 2008
  • Year of Birth
    1989
Olympic Results

Biography

Kohei UCHIMURA

Kohei Uchimura added two gold medals to his career collection at Rio 2016, becoming the first male gymnast to retain the Olympic artistic individual all-around title in 44 years. A seven-time medallist at the Games, the Japanese ace is also a six-time individual all-around world champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest gymnasts of all time.


“Beauty in movement is my only goal,” said the biggest star in men’s gymnastics, explaining his philosophy. “My father said that 100 imperfect movements are not worth one that is magnificently executed. And that’s what I’ve always kept in mind. 

“I could do harder things, but if I did then it would give me problems. So what I always try to do is strike a balance between technical difficulty and quality of execution. That’s where the beauty of gymnastics lies. I want to show through my performances how high scores can be achieved, by striving for beauty in execution. If you don’t do that, then it’s impossible to have an impact.” 

The perfect education

Born on 3 January 1989 in Kitakyushu (Fukuoka prefecture) to gymnast parents, Uchimura climbed on to an apparatus for the first time at the age of three. In his teenage years, he moved to Tokyo to train under the watchful eye of Athens 2004 all-around team champion Naoya Tsukahara, the son of the legendary Mitsuo Tsukahara. “I was 11 at the time of the Sydney Games,” recalled Uchimura. “Naoya took part in them and I wanted to be like him.” 

Uchimura made his national team debut in 2007 and earned selection for Beijing 2008 at the age of 19. After helping Japan land team all-around silver behind the hosts in the Chinese capital, he won another silver in the individual all-around, won by China’s Yang Wei. It was Japan’s first medal in the event since Sawao Kato’s gold at Munich 1972.

World championship success

Uchimura claimed his maiden world individual all-around title in London in October 2009, finishing a comfortable 2.575 points clear of his nearest challenger after earning the highest scores in the floor, rings, vault and the horizontal bar. 

He retained his crown a year later in Rotterdam, where he also collected team and floor silver and bronze in the parallel bars. A third consecutive world individual all-around gold came his way in  Tokyo two years later, when he also pocketed floor gold, team silver and horizontal bar bronze. 

An Olympic coronation

The three-time champion began his quest for Olympic gold at London 2012 by placing ninth in the qualification round of the individual all-around. Two days later, he contributed to another silver for Japan in the team event, which was again won by China. 

Thrilling the spectators at the North Greenwich Arena with the quality of his performances on the pommel horse, rings, vault, horizontal bar and the parallel bars, Uchimura atoned for a small error in the floor exercise to win individual all-around gold by some distance from Germany’s Marcel Nguyen and the USA’s Danell Leyva. After becoming Japan’s first winner of the event since Kato 40 years earlier, he took his Olympic medal collection to five in the floor, taking silver behind China’s Zou Kai. 

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Rio 2016

G
Individual All-Around
Individual All-Around Gymnastics
#5
Floor Exercise
Floor Exercise Gymnastics
#10 r1/2
Parallel Bars
Parallel Bars Gymnastics
#37 r1/2
Horizontal Bar
Horizontal Bar Gymnastics
#20 r1/2
Rings
Rings Gymnastics
#14 r1/2
Pommelled Horse
Pommelled Horse Gymnastics
G
Team All-Around
Team All-Around Gymnastics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

S
Team All-Around
Team All-Around Gymnastics
G
Individual All-Around
Individual All-Around Gymnastics
S
Floor Exercise
Floor Exercise Gymnastics
#60 r1/2
Pommelled Horse
Pommelled Horse Gymnastics
#19 r1/2
Rings
Rings Gymnastics
#5 r1/2
Parallel Bars
Parallel Bars Gymnastics
#16 r1/2
Horizontal Bar
Horizontal Bar Gymnastics
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Beijing 2008

S
Individual All-Around
Individual All-Around Gymnastics
S
Team All-Around
Team All-Around Gymnastics
#5
Floor Exercise
Floor Exercise Gymnastics
#10 QR
Parallel Bars
Parallel Bars Gymnastics
#15 QR
Horizontal Bar
Horizontal Bar Gymnastics
#43 QR
Rings
Rings Gymnastics
#42 QR
Pommelled Horse
Pommelled Horse Gymnastics