Marvin Kimble told IG that his fifth-place finish at the recent P&G (U.S.) championships and his appointment as a world team alternate have inspired him as he aims for next summer’s Olympic Games.
"This is huge for me, just knowing that I’m so close to being exactly where I want to be," said Kimble, the only teenager among the top 11 men’s all-around finishers at the P&G championships in Indianapolis last weekend. "It gives me motivation to improve in my weak areas and fight for a spot on the Olympic team."
Kimble, who tied for the gold medal on pommel horse at the Pan American Games in Toronto in July, said his relaxed attitude helped him perform steadily in Indianapolis.
"Looking back I would say it was more consistency than any performance but also just having fun competing at the highest-level," he said. "Also, since I moved out to the (U.S. Olympic) training center (in Colorado Springs), I practice a lot more than I used to and we do tons of routines. So I feel like that was a huge factor in my success in Indy."
Kimble credits his move to the USOTC for his leap from 14th place at last year’s championships.
"Moving to the Olympic Training Center and training with all of the best guys in the world helped me a ton," said Kimble, who will turn 20 on October 27. "Just having them in the gym and seeing them training so hard every day has made me want to train harder and smarter. It’s really teaching me a lot and is a great experience."
Kimble said his ambitious nature has enabled him to develop into an all-around contender among veterans at his relatively young age. Among the gymnasts he outscored in Indianapolis included 2012 Olympic all-around bronze medalist Danell Leyva, 2008 Olympic double medalist Jonathan Horton and 2012 U.S. Olympic team alternate Steve Legendre.
"Growing up I was very competitive and really didn’t like to lose to anyone," Kimble said. "Being so competitive made me work on every aspect of my gymnastics and work to be the best in the world."
Even though he is the second alternate to the world team, Kimble is now training for the possibility that he will compete at the world championships in Glasgow in October.
"We have a set training plan," he said. "I will be following that training plan, and focusing on hitting sets and being ready if I am called upon to compete."
With the Rio Olympic Games less than a year away, Kimble said his position on the U.S. team bodes well for a starting spot at the Games if he boosts his scoring potential and remains consistent.
"I need to make sure that I work really hard to increase my execution score on every event, raise my difficulty level by a few tenths and, of course, hit sets," he told IG.
Read coverage of the P&G (U.S.) championships in the September 2015 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, click here.