So, exactly what helped inspire World Champion Gymnast Kohei Uchimura to take up gymnastics?
Was it Wheaties? Was it the shot at atheltic fame?
Turns out manga is the culprit.
More details after the break.
Uchimura, who just won the gold medal in the men’s all around event at the London Olympics on Wednesday, credited the manga, Ganba! Fly High as an inspiration to stick with the sport.
Turns out when Ganba! Fly High came out in 1994, a five-year-old Uchimura was also taking up gymnastics in his parents’ sports club in the Nagasaki Prefecture.
The story of the manga revolves around a boy named Shun, who manages to eventually win gold in the Olympics. It’s also loosely based on author, Shinji Morisue’s 1984 Olympic Gold win in the horizontal bar. Morisue wanted to create the manga to inspire children to try gymnastics for themselves.
It looks like it worked when you consider Uchimura. Uchimura even remebered a vital point from the manga when it comes to sticking a landing:
“Your body will stop on its own if you just stick to what you envision in your mind.”