Gymnastics star Asher Hong secured his first national all-around crown at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Saturday.
First teen to win since 2012: Hong, a 19-year-old member of Stanford University’s men’s gymnastics team in Northern California, embraced the support of his friends and family at the event held at the SAP Center in San Jose.
He is the first teenager to win since John Orozco in 2012 and the youngest to win since Tim Ryan in 2012.
Winning performance: His victory was sealed by his exceptional performance, including a challenging vault named after Olympic champion Ri Se Gwang. With a total score of 170.930 over 12 routines spanning two days, he outperformed competitors like his teammate Khoi Young (169.455) and Michigan’s Fred Richard (169.311). Hong’s triumph makes him the first teenager to win the men’s all-around national championship since 2012.
Boosting Hong’s performance: Hong reportedly spent the 2022 U.S. Championships competing for his home club back in Texas, where he felt alone on the competition floor. However, his newfound home at Stanford gave him a sense of camaraderie that boosted his performance.
Hong praised his coach Thom Glielmi’s team-first approach for helping him regroup and draw energy from his peers.
“Thom always says that last two events, you know, that’s where the real gymnastics is,” Hong said, according to the Associated Press. “Show up and bring the energy (for the rest of the team).”
Along with Young and Richard, Hong represents a new generation aiming to elevate the U.S. men’s gymnastics program’s relevance on the international stage, especially in preparation for the 2028 Olympics.