London 2012: Gold Medalist Kohei Uchimura Was Inspired into Gymnastics by a Manga!

kohei uchimuraShinji Morisue can be proud of himself having created the manga Ganba! Fly High, which Japanese Olympic gold medalist Kohei Uchimura has credited as a key inspiration for his becoming a gymnast. Artist Hiroyuki Kikuta’s work should also have helped to the impression the Fly High has left into the athlete.

Mangaka Shinji Morisue can be proud, of course, for being an Olympic medalist himself too – his abilities in the same sport as Uchimura have made him all Gold, Silver and Bronze medals (Horizontal bar, vault and team combined exercises respectively) during the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles.

His sport-themed shounen manga Ganba! Fly High has earned him yet another award – the Shogakukan manga award (1998). The work includes a lot of personal experience and stories that only a true gymnast could have thought of.There is also an anime adaptation of it entitled Ganbarist! Shun.

The story follows a middle school student named Shun who, trough hard work and believing in the sport, manages to raise to being an Olympic gold medalist. According to Gymnast/Mangaka Morisue-sensei, the idea of the work itself was to inspire the young men (and maybe women, mind you) to become like him and win the medals for Japan. Impressive as it seems, it took the story 8 years (the manga started in 1994 when Uchimura was 5-years-old) to develop into reality.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun

Is this great news or not-so-great? What do you think? Comment below.

6 thoughts on “London 2012: Gold Medalist Kohei Uchimura Was Inspired into Gymnastics by a Manga!

    1. It is actually a pretty good manga. Didn’t know the mangaka is such a great sportsman, though. Thanks, Shinigami-sama.

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