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10 Questions With Team USA Gymnast Asher Hong

by Imogen Rosa

Prior to leaving for the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in England, Team USA sat down with U.S. gymnast Asher Hong. Hong spoke about his transition from junior to senior athlete, going to his first world championships and his ultimate Spider-Man. Check out the first-year senior's answers to 10 questions below.

Asher Hong competes during the rings at the 2022 U.S. Gymnastics Championships on Aug. 20, 2022 in Tampa, Fla.

 

Q: How is your first senior camp going?

A: Overall, I felt good about my performance and I did my job and what I've been training for.

Q: This year you competed in your first Senior U.S. Championship and placed 3rd behind veterans Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg. What was it like competing as a first-year senior? 

A: Watching when I was younger, the Visa Championships, then P&G Championships and then now it's USAs, but now I'm finally here on the big stage and it was really surreal.

Q: At Nationals you put up a huge score of 16.830 after landing the hardest (legal) vault in Men's Gymnastics. What's next for your evolution, are you looking to score higher difficulty or master your current routine?

A: As of right now, I haven't completely mastered both vaults and if I want place on the podium for vault at Worlds or Olympics, I do need to dot my I's and cross my T's on both the vaults, especially the Yonekura.

Q: You started gymnastics at a very young age and first represented the United States at the age of 13. As an athlete who transitioned from Juniors to Seniors, what advice would you give to other young gymnasts?

A: I feel like basics really helped me progress. My foundation in the sport really pushed me forward throughout the skill elements and developments.

Q: What is it like to compete with longtime friends Yul Moldauer and Fred Richard?

A: We look at each other as competition, but at the same time we're all friends and we are hoping for the best for each other for sure. Because what's going to get us on that podium is working together as one unit.

Asher Hong trains on the pommel horse ahead of the 2022 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Oct. 29, 2022 in Liverpool, England.

 

Q: Looking back on your first year as a Senior, what has been the hardest transition for you, and what have you enjoyed the most?

A: Hardest transition was routine endurance for sure, especially during the beginning of the season. The thing I enjoyed most? Throwing the big skills in, because these are a lot of skills that I always imagined myself doing when I was younger and here I am doing it now, so it's really exciting.

Q: Now that you are a freshman in college, what are your bold predictions for the NCAA men's season?

A: Brody [Malone], if he nails down his stuff. It's really hard to compete against him. He's pretty far ahead of everyone else, but I mean Paul Juda won this year, so he's also one of the biggest competitors out there too. If Fred [Richard] does hit all his stuff clean, I think he could be extremely competitive.

Q: What are your predictions for NCAA team performance?

A: Stanford has a really good team and a really good culture. We all have the same goal. It's still going to be a fight, but I believe that we can stay on top this year.

Q: You credit Spider-Man as the reason you got into gymnastics, could you rank the three Spider-Men actors for us?

A: I'd say it goes Toby McGuire, Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield.

Q: What do you think their specialties would be if they were gymnasts?

A: Honestly, it's an unfair question. There would just be an all-rounder for sure. If he's a little too far from the bar, he shoots this web catches the bar. Or he can bounce super high on floor. Rings, he's got super strength so I mean, think they would just be an all-rounder, all of them would be all all-rounders.


Imogen Rosa is the Digital Content Manager for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.