This is why King Kohei slays everyone
With six strenuous events, artistic gymnastics requires speed, strength, power, flexibility and coordination. Kohei Uchimura of Japan displays all of these characteristics with grace and artistry. The gymnast proved himself at the 2011 World Championships, when he blew away the competition to become the first man to win the all-around title for three consecutive years. Uchimura hasn’t lost a major competition since winning two silver medals, team and all-around, at Beijing 2008, and he is now an Olympic champion.
What places Uchimura so far ahead of the rest of the world? Why has he become such a standout?
Kohei Uchimura stands a mere 5’3” tall with short legs that act as his levers. Biomechanically speaking, short levers facilitate quicker changes in momentum. Gymnastics often requires a rapid twisting and turning of the body, meaning high angular acceleration. Angular acceleration is equal to torque over the moment of inertia. Moment of inertia is a measure of the body’s resistance to angular motion, and this increases as a body gets taller. When a person’s whole body is rotating lengthwise, it is an advantage to have a shorter stature, which causes greater potential for higher acceleration. Long levers are also a mechanical disadvantage for strength (while being an advantage for speed) and because a person who is taller has a higher centre of gravity, they tend to be at a disadvantage where stability is concerned. This said, a great number of elite gymnasts are short in stature with short levers. We still need to discern the makings of Uchimura’s success over other elite gymnasts.
One thing that truly sets Uchimura apart is his flawless execution – he makes few mistakes. His precision and control likely make him likely the best of his generation, if not the best ever. Many male gymnasts display their incredible strength and gain points by bulking up their routines with extremely difficult moves and thundering through them with tremendous power. Uchimura executes his difficult moves with extreme control. His landings are seldom less than perfect. There is a fine balance between power and control. Too much power could lead you to over turn, while too much hesitation or relaxation could lead to a disastrous, unfinished flip. In an event such as the rings, where strength is highlighted, control and patience are also imperative. In his rings routine at London 2012, Uchimura hardly let the cables move at all. Flipping through the air three times before coming to a complete stop, cables immobile, Uchimura proved why he is the best: control. He has control of his speed, control of his strength and control of his mind. Nothing shakes when it comes to Kohei Uchimura.
With his graceful and controlled strength, the expectations for Uchimura at these Olympic Games have been tremendous. But now he has been named an Olympic champion and nailed a perfect landing on top of the podium.
LOL Can I just say that I love how much CTV stans this guy. They had this whole segment and montage on him too.