Feature | Artistic Gymnastics

Gymnast Arthur Nory dreams of honouring his Japanese heritage with high bar success at Tokyo

Brazilian 2016 Olympic bronze floor medallist has Japanese grandparents and tells us "It'll be amazing to compete at home again."

By Scott Bregman ·

Arthur Nory has the rare chance to compete at Olympic Games competitions in both his homes.

The 2016 Olympic artistic gymnastics medallist won bronze in front of his home country crowd at Rio 2016 in the men’s floor final.

“All Brazilians cheered for us,” Nory recalled in an interview with Olympic Channel of that Sunday competition in Rio where he and teammate Diego Hypolito stepped onto the medals podium.

Nory, whose grandparents moved from Japan to Brazil decades ago, is aiming for his second chance in front of an Olympic home crowd at Tokyo 2020.

“Part of my family, my mother’s family, are from Japan, from Okinawa,” explained Nory. “My blood is half-Japanese, half-Brazilian. So it will be amazing to compete at home again.

“I’m working hard to be there again,” he continued. “Representing, again, Brazil and Japan.”

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That hard work includes recovery from a shoulder surgery in the first half of 2020.

“Four months of recovery from the last surgery,” Nory posted to his Instagram on 21 September. “The scars remain, but the willpower to improve continues.”

But Nory is no stranger to turning adversity into triumph. The 27-year-old faced knee injuries leading into the 2019 season. The pain affected him most on his best apparatuses, floor and vault.

“In the beginning of [2019], it was very difficult because I had a problem with my knee,” said Nory. “It hurt me a lot, my knee swelled a lot. It was very hard to train.”

Instead of backing down, Nory, along with his coaches and doctors, created a program that allowed him to thrive as they focused on the horizontal bar and Olympic qualification for his team.
“The focus was to qualify Brazil to the Olympic Games,” said Nory.

It was a balancing act with Nory needing to participate in as many apparatus as possible without overworking his injured knee.

“From one side, we had to not over load too much so I could help the team,” Nory recalled. “It was very successful… It was a very special year for me, and I keep working because of the Olympic Games.”

A very special year indeed, as the balancing act came together at last October’s World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, where not only did Brazil qualify to the Tokyo Games but Nory came away with horizontal bar gold individually.

“I’m so grateful to all my team, my coaches, doctors, physio, I think they’re very happy,” he said afterward.

Nory himself was very happy, to say the least, erupting in disbelief as he ran off the podium. His trademark smile and celebration on full display.

His love of the sport also visible for all to see.

“I love gymnastics,” said Nory. “I love training. This passion and this love for what I do makes me grow, having this goal to get to the Olympic Games, to get to the World Championships, motivates to do what I love.”
And Nory is sure to feel that love returned when he returns to the Games in his second home.

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