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IG Online Interview: Vid Hidvégi (Hungary)
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A medal candidate on pommel horse at the last Olympic Games and other major competitions since then, Hungarian gymnast Vid Hidvégi is putting his 2016 focus firmly on earning a berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A medal candidate on pommel horse at the last Olympic Games and other major competitions since then, Hungarian gymnast Vid Hidvégi is putting his 2016 focus firmly on earning a berth to this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hidvégi qualified third to the pommel horse final at the 2012 Games in London, but fell in the final and placed eighth. His best finishes on the apparatus at world championships include 10th place at the 2009 worlds in London, fourth place at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, and fifth place at the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow. Hidvégi was also fifth on pommel horse at the 2015 European championships in Montpellier.

Although Hidvégi continues Hungary’s tradition of strong pommel horse workers in his own right, he remains in a longtime friendly rivalry with teammate Krisztián Berki, who won gold on the event at the 2012 Olympics as well as at the 2010, 2011 and 2014 Worlds.

Both gymnasts are expected to contend for berths to the Rio Games at the Olympic test event, the second of two Olympic qualification meets, that will take place in Rio in April. Neither qualified directly to the Games via the 2015 Worlds, which served as the first Olympic qualification meet.

The 29-year-old Hidvégi is also a credible all-arounder. He placed 66th all-around at the 2010 Worlds in Tokyo, 55th all-around at the 2011 Worlds, 61st all-around at the 2014 Worlds in Nanning, and 70th all-around at the 2015 Worlds. Hidvégi is preparing his all-around program for the test event, with the goals of a spot at the Rio Games and a potential medal on his specialty apparatus.

In this International Gymnast Online interview, Hidvégi details his plans and goals for 2016.


IG: You were close to a medal at last year's Europeans and Worlds. Based especially on the field of finalists you faced in Glasgow, what will you need to break into the top three in Rio?

VH: The medal winners of those competitions did so well and they have a very high start value, as well. I definitely need to raise my start value by putting the skills I had been training the last few years. It is quite difficult to me to go above 6.6, but I want to go step-by-step and focus all my energy on getting the berth to Rio.


Hidvégi celebrates his routine in pommel horse finals at the 2015 Worlds in Glasgow.

IG: Between now and the test event, how will you be apportioning your training — for example, all six apparatuses because you need to do well to qualify for the Olympic Games, versus working on your pommel horse routine because you have a good shot at an Olympic medal?

VH: This is my chance to earn the right to go to the Olympic Games. Four years ago we had the test event in January which, first, did not seem very fortunate, although after that successful competition I realized that I still had six months just to train on pommel horse and concentrate only on that apparatus. This time, I have to be in the best shape of my life on six apparatuses, and if the test event is going very well, I will only have about three months to do the same. Well, not the same — a higher start value this time.

IG: Now you and Krisztián Berki are battling each other for medals on pommel horse. What is your partnership like, in terms of motivating and helping each other?

VH: I don’t think I am able to battle him. He is the best on the pommel horse. He had an unfortunate injury, but I know what he is capable of. We are friends, we grew up together and we have been training together for over 20 years. In sports, athletes are battling each other, and perhaps friendships change into something else that's more competitive and less friendly. We are nothing like that, luckily.

IG: With degrees from universities in England (Leeds Beckett University, formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) and Hungary, what are your career goals?

VH: I graduated from Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2014. My major is Master of Business Administration. My career goals are related to management, although I have not looked for any jobs. I have a lot to do in gymnastics, especially this year.

IG: How did you celebrate the holidays?

VH: I spent Christmas with my brothers, sister and my mother. This is how we do it every year. New Year's Eve was spent with my girlfriend, her sister, one of my brothers, their boyfriends and girlfriends and other friends, too.

IG: What are your New Year's resolutions?

VH: I haven’t got any. If I feel like, and most of the time I do, I need to improve in something, I target it and do my best being better. That applies to the whole year.

Read "Making the Grade," a profile on Hidvégi earlier in his career, in the March 2009 issue of International Gymnast magazine. To purchase back issues, click here.

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