Roman Pak from Kyrgyzstan dreams of competing at the Olympics

Sputnik Kyrgyzstan filmed a video about the Kyrgyzstan’s national team and its rising star, Roman Pak.

Pak was born in 2000, he is still a junior and, currently, he is the only elite artistic gymnast representing Kyrgyzstan internationally. He is training in the country’s only gym in Bishkek where the equipment is quite outdated. Aleksandr Tkachuk, the head coach, says that until recently all the gym’s equipment used to be 30 years old. They asked FIG for help and received some new apparatuses but the facilities are still severely lacking. The rings are makeshift, the high bar underwent multiple repairs and is at risk of breaking down and the floor doesn’t have springs. The coach says that when the gymnasts get to the international competitions it takes them a long time to adjust to the modern equipment which, ultimately, affects their results.

The coach says he is asked by his colleagues from other countries how he manages to continue the gymnastics program in such conditions. He plans not only to continue the program but also to raise future champions who will be competitive internationally.

Roman Pak is one of his hopes for international medals. Pak participated in the junior Asian Championships this year although without much success. Adjusting to the new training equipment and a different climate might have played a role – Pak tells that after his high bar routine another gymnast pointed out there was blood on the bar. Turns out that Pak’s palms started bleeding during the exercise (he attributed it to hotter and more humid climate). He finished his routine despite the bleeding. His mother wanted him to stop doing gymnastics when two years ago he chipped a bone in his arm and had to travel to Russia for a surgery. He has no plans of quitting, though, he dreams of going to the Olympics. No male or female artistic gymnast represented Kyrgyzstan at the Olympics yet, so if Pak accomplishes his goal, he will be the first one.

Photo: Sputnik Kyrgyzstan

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