Rio Revisited: Uchimura King of Showmanship, Says Naddour
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U.S. gymnast Alex Naddour said Rio Games all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan inspires his own gymnastics because of Uchimura's unrivaled performance quality.

Twelfth in a series of flashbacks to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where IG correspondent John Crumlish was a sport writer for the Olympic News Service.

U.S. gymnast Alex Naddour said Rio Games all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan inspires his own gymnastics because of Uchimura's unrivaled performance quality.

"I base some of my training on what he does, and what he does is excellent gymnastics," said Naddour, who won the bronze medal on pommel horse in Rio. "He goes out there and puts on a show."

The 25-year-old Naddour said Uchimura's virtuosity impresses judges as well as audiences.

"For him this isn't just a sport," said Naddour of Uchimura, who has won six world all-around titles and earned his second consecutive Olympic all-around title in Rio. "It is showing off, performing for the crowd, making it look effortless and making it look beautiful. So not only do the judges love it but the crowd loves it. That's why he's not only the best but one of the favorites ever, in my mind."

Naddour was a member of the bronze medal-winning U.S. team at the 2011 and 2014 World Championships, and also competed at the 2013 and 2015 Worlds. He was a reserve on the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics in London.

On pommel horse Naddour has won four U.S. titles, placed sixth at the 2014 Worlds and placed seventh at the 2015 Worlds. He is coached by his father, Mike Naddour. His wife, Hollie Vise, tied for the gold medal on uneven bars at the 2003 World Championships.

Naddour said Uchimura epitomizes the sport's technical and artistic aspects.

"When you watch him, that is how gymnastics is supposed to be done," Naddour said.

The September 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine is a special issue devoted to reports, photos, quotes and results of the Rio Olympic Games. The October 2016 issue includes more behind-the-scenes coverage, including a photo gallery, notes, quotes and anecdotes. To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or order back issues, click here.

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