Zou Kai

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zou.
Zou Kai
— Gymnast —
Zou Kai.JPG
Zou Kai during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
Personal information
Full name Zou Kai
Country represented  China
Born (1988-02-25) February 25, 1988 (age 26)
Luzhou, Sichuan
Height 157 centimetres (5 ft 2 in)[1]
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior
Club China National School
Head coach(es) Huang Yubin
Assistant coach(es) Bai Yuanshao
Former coach(es) Lin Zhaoyang, Lei Ming

Zou Kai (simplified Chinese: 邹凯; traditional Chinese: 鄒凱; pinyin: Zōu Kǎi; born February 25, 1988 in Luzhou, Sichuan) is a five-time Olympic and World champion Chinese gymnast, specializing in the floor exercise and the horizontal bar.

Zou won his first three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, resulting in a nomination for the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year in 2009.

By winning two additional gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,[2] Zou holds the record for most Olympic gold medals won by any Chinese athlete in Olympic history, with a total of five, and with an additional bronze medal to the tally, he is tied for the record of most medals overall, with six.[3]

Competitive career[edit]

World Championships debut[edit]

Zou made his debut at the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus, helping the Chinese Team win gold, and placing sixth at the individual floor exercise final.

At the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, he achieved the same results, winning the team competition and again placing sixth on floor.[4]

2006 Asian Games[edit]

Zou participated in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, winning gold in the floor exercise and silver in the horizontal bar individual events, as well as a gold medal as part of the Chinese team.

2008 Summer Olympics[edit]

On his Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he contributed to the team's gold and also won unexpected individual gold medals at the floor exercise and the horizontal bar scoring 16.050[5] and 16.200 respectively.

Zou was the second Chinese Olympian to receive three gold medals at a single Olympic Games, following Li Ning who first achieved the feat at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and was the most successful Chinese athlete at the Beijing Olympics, with the most gold medal wins.

2009 World Championships[edit]

During the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London, Zou won a gold medal in the individual horizontal bar event and also won a silver medal at the floor exercise individual event.

2011 World Championships[edit]

After being left out of the Chinese Gymnastic Team at both the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam and the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, due to weaknesses in the apparatuses he did not specialize in, Zou again won two gold and one silver medal at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, matching his feat at the 2009 Championships.

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, he led the team to win gold and later successfully defended his Olympic title at the floor exercise, winning gold again, only the second to do so in the men's floor exercise following Soviet Gymnast Nikolai Andrianov who won the event in 1972 and 1976. He was unable to defend his title in the horizontal bar however, finishing less than two tenths of a point behind the lead, eventually winning a bronze medal in the event.[6] The last gymnast to successfully defend his Olympic title on the high bar was Mitsuo Tsukahara, who won the event in 1972 and 1976, at the same Olympics as Andrianov.

With a total of five Olympic gold medals, he holds the record for most golds won by any Chinese athlete in Olympic history, and by adding a bronze medal to the tally, he tied the record for most medals overall, with six.

Future plans[edit]

During an interview with Liu Xuan (female Chinese Olympic gymnast), when asked if he would train to be an all-around gymnast he replied, "My talents are limited, but if I can learn more to become one then I will learn more."[citation needed]

Charitable work[edit]

Zou Kai, a Sichuan native, auctioned off one of his Olympic gold medals in 2008, donating all proceeds to fund relief efforts in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.[7] Out of the three gold medals he'd earned at the 2008 Summer Olympics, he chose the medal won for his floor exercise routine for its special significance since only two other Chinese gymnasts had ever won it, Li Ning and Li Xiaoshuang.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]