The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) announced over the weekend that six new elements will be published in the International Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Code of Points. One of these is ‘the Koudinov’, created, performed and submitted by our Kiwi Olympian Mikhail (Misha) Koudinov.
“I had the idea of it in my head for probably 10 years, but never considered it a possibility. Then one day I decided to try it over a foam pit just for fun. It seemed possible so I continued to play with it until eventually, I realized I could probably compete it. That’s when I trained it more seriously to be able to submit it as a new skill,” comments Misha.
The Koudinov has been classed as a ‘G’ rated element, meaning it is one of the most difficult. The G rating is rated 7th in the list of the most difficult elements in gymnastics. ‘A’ rated being a simple gymnastics skill and ‘H’ being the most difficult and complex. Misha is the only New Zealand athlete to be able to perform a skill at this level.
“It took around a month of training to catch it for the first time, but I have been training it without the 360 twist for 11 years. I used to spin things like pens and highlighters at school pretending they were gymnasts. I imagined all sorts of crazy skills and this was one of the more possible ones,” recalls Misha.
Misha started gymnastics at the age of 7 years and made his senior debut as the youngest member of the Commonwealth Games team in Melbourne 2006. In 2010 he started a four-year college scholarship with the Ohio State Buckeyes. Misha continued to climb his way up the world rankings and was selected to the New Zealand Olympic Team last year for Rio 2016 where he finished 16th on vault. Misha has recently returned to New Zealand, now training at Tri Star Gymnastics in Mt Roskill.
Having an element named after you is a way of achieving immortality in Gymnastics as it assures that your name will live on in the sport, years after you have taken your final bows on the international stage.
“It’s such a special feeling to have my element published, especially as it received such a high difficulty rating of G.” Misha smiles.
Contact: Anna Robertson
Performance Pathways and Communications Manager
P: 021 42 49 38