Gymnast Marcel Nguyen of Team Germany, a Vietnamese origin, talked with Tuoi Tre in London ahead of his competition at the Games.
Nguyen is one of the largest hope of Germany gymnastics at London Olympics, as he has recently snatched a gold medal at the parallel bars category at the European championships held last May in France.
* How did you practice to prepare for London 2012?
I practice six hours a day, from Mon to Sat. If Team Germany can perform as well as they did in the training sessions, I think our medal chance is not too small. Personally I’m aiming at advancing the final of the parallel bars category. But we have to wait to see what will happen in the final.
* Will the latest gold medal at the European championships in France help you feel more optimistic and confident?
Sure. That was my best performance ever at a tournament.
* Why did you choose to pursue gymnastics? In a country which possesses many sporting talents like Germany, is it a noteworthy event when a gymnast with a Vietnamese origin receives expectation to win an Olympics gold medal?
I proved talented at gymnastics since the very young age. I have been always interested in gymnastics, and I am now, too. This is the motivation for my efforts in practicing. I do not really care about expectation of others. I want to prove to myself that I can overcome all barriers when I come to gymnastics. Of course, it’s great if your hard work is paid off.
* Many Vietnamese-origins in Germnay have made great achievement, such as you or Vice Chancellor of Germany Philipp Rösler. Are these successes a motivation and example for youth people of Vietnamese origins to follow?
Your origin is not an important thing for you to go ahead.
* If you win the Olympics gold medal, who will be the first person you think of?
It’s my mom, without whom I will not be what I am today.
* Besides gymnastics, what are your other interests?
I play golf and spare time to play with my two cats.
Marcel Nguyen, or Marcel Van Minh Phuc Long Nguyen, was born on September 8, 1987 in Munich.
He became known in German gymnastics at the age of seven, when he was recruited to TSV Unterhaching, a renowned gymnastics club coached by well-known experts Andreas Hirsch and Jens Milbradt.
The athlete won the national championship at the parallel bars category in 2005, when he was only 18 years old. In 2005 he won the championship at the German national gymnastics championships.