Nellie Kim, one of Olympics’ rare perfect 10, says Filipino gymnasts ‘sculpted’ right | Inquirer Sports

Nellie Kim, one of Olympics’ rare perfect 10, says Filipino gymnasts ‘sculpted’ right

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:20 AM September 30, 2018

Nellie Vladimirovna Kim (right) attends a luncheon held in her honor with gymnastics chief Cynthia Carrion-Norton.

Nellie Vladimirovna Kim was once at the pinnacle of gymnastics winning medal after medal like she was her sport’s undeterred goddess.

As awe-inspiring as her collection of medals is—29 in all, from the continental level to the Olympics, 12 of which are gold—she is best remembered for her classic battles against fellow icons Nadia Comaneci and Ludmilla Tourischeva.

She was among mortals Wednesday afternoon, basking in the adulation of young and eager Filipino gymnasts hoping to feed off her greatness. Kim arrived in the country to help the Gymnastics Association of the Philippines cultivate a pool of young talents from where the next legend could come from.


Kim, now the president of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Technical Committee, said reaching the pinnacle of her career is easier said than done and it takes more than physical gifts to attain such level of perfection.

“You need hard work, motivation, and a good program,” said the now 61-year-old Kim, who resides in the United States. “You need to have very good conditioning, a very good technical program, and most importantly a very good psychological program.”

Kim added that no matter how much a gymnast or any athlete of any discipline trains his body, the mind is still the one that dictates all and pushes someone past the doubts and insecurities.

“You can be perfectly prepared but if you’re psychologically not ready, you cannot do it,” said Kim, who won three gold medals in the 1976 Olympic Games and two in the 1980 Games.


“Even the best gymnasts fall because they are not psychologically prepared.”

Kim, who was the second woman gymnast in Olympic history to score a perfect 10, said she saw potential from the young Filipino gymnasts and it would be up to the sports officials to develop those athletes.


“I have this eye to see who’s good or bad and I can say that one of the boys has potential, the girls have the technical element gotten down, the body position and the talent is there,” said Kim who likened great gymnasts to master works of art.

“In gymnastics, it’s important how the gymnast controls the body, the trunk, the body position, the legs and the arms. It’s like a sculpture, if you can see it perfectly in a sculpture then the artist is good and that’s the same with a gymnast, if you see the body posture is good, the coach’s sculpture is good.”

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TAGS: gymnastics, Olympics, PH Tokyo 2020

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