PHOTOS: Marcel Nguyen qualifies for Rio Olympics

BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Marcel and the rest of Team Germany who qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 5th – 21st August 2016. Germany’s Men’s Gymnastics “Dream Team” is composed of Marcel Nguyen, Andreas Bretschneider, Andreas Toba, Philipp Herder, Ivan Rittschik, Helge Liebrich, and Lukas Dauser. Viel Glück!

Let us share with you some of the most poetic and inspiring shots of double Olympic medalist, Marcel Nguyen. Thanks to the gracious courtesy of 24passion GbR for providing us with an exclusive interview with Marcel and for giving us permission to use these amazing images.

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Marcel Nguyen 24passion GbR

Olympic Medalist Marcel Nguyen on his Next Big Goal | An Exclusive Interview


SPECIAL FEATURE: Olympic Medalist Marcel Nguyen on his Next Big Goal

Born on 8th September 1987 in Unterhaching, Munich, Germany, Marcel Nguyen, started gymnastics at the early age of four. At the age of ten, he was already part of the top young gymnasts in Germany and subsequently opened the door for his first ever international competition in 2002.

With several National and European Championship medals in his record, his popularity intensified in 2012 when he brought home two Olympic Silver Medals in Men’s Artistic Individual All-Around and Parallel Bars from the London Olympic Games.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

In September 2014, the two-time Olympic medalist, suffered from a knee injury which required immediate surgery of his ligaments and then a second surgery needs to be performed five months later. As a result, he missed his chance to compete in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships which were held in Nanning, China, that same year.

We had the good fortune to ask the Olympian about his vision as well as his preparations for the upcoming Rio 2016, his relationship with his coach, and his sacrifices as an athlete.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

Eugephemisms: What does Gymnastics mean to you?

Marcel Nguyen: That means really much for sure. I have been doing gymnastics since I was a small child and that actually made me exactly the person that I am now.

E: How do you envision Team Germany’s performance in the coming Rio Olympics? How are the preparations?

MN: I feel that I’m a part of a good team; no more, no less. I still hope to be qualified for participation. I think I’m quite good on the parallel bars and on the horizontal bar, so that means I can bring my team further as well.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

E: Being in the elite level of this competitive sport, in your opinion, what does it require from the athletes? What should they invest in terms of the physical, social, and mental aspects? What are the sacrifices?

MN: Sure, the professional athletes must avoid a lot of stuff and should follow the perfect discipline–thinking all the time if he is allowed to do this or that. Always think about the body: bear a good ratio while sleeping or having lunch. Many think that gymnasts eat much to maintain their weight. Actually, that’s not the case. Sometimes I even try to avoid lunch or have a snack, so as not to have a full belly during a training session. The athletes have a nutrition plan, although it’s very difficult to follow.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

E: How important is it for an athlete to maintain a good rapport with the coach?

MN: It’s very important without any doubt. You can only build a strong team if you have a good relationship with you trainer. From the very beginning I feel that I’m very lucky to have met some great people in my life, especially my coach Valery Belenki.

E: At what point can you say that you have reached everything in Gymnastics?

MN: I can now say that I have already achieved what I had desired — the 2 Olympic medals — and one of them is from an Overall Ranking, what else can I wish for? At this point in my athletic career, I feel that I don’t have much to lose. All that I’ll do next will bring much fun and I will surely enjoy those moments. I’d be very happy to experience Olympics once again. I don’t want to say that these Olympics aren’t my target or desire. No. They are my next big goal for my own sport story. I mean that even now I can say: I’m good with everything I have.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

E: Outside of the gymnastics world, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

MN: Oh, this is an extremely difficult question, there are so many that I can hardly pick someone. Let’s say David Beckham: He’s a very interesting person not only as a sport personality but as a guy who have created his life in a very good manner.

Marcel Nguyen Gymnastics

Let’s follow his journey as he ‘cartwheels’, ‘somersaults’ and ‘handsprings’ his way to the very heart of the Olympics. @themarcelnguyen

All images used with permission from 24passion GbR.


In the coming weeks, we will be featuring an interview series called, “Dragon Boat World Athletes”. We will strive to reach out to World Level dragon boat paddlers and ask them the important questions about their passions, training routines, fitness and health tips and their dragon boating life in general.

To make it something light to read for our readers, we intend to pump them a medley of opinion-based, behavioural, funny, and perhaps some not-too-personal questions even (should they like to share). Let’s get to know what makes them tick and what or who inspires them. It will also be good to know some interesting facts about them and what they think of the status quo of the sport.

World Dragon Boat Athletes
World Dragon Boat Athletes


Yes, what’s good with this series is that the questions will come from you. Email us your questions at If you want to ask them some dumb question like: “If you were an animal, what would you be?” (Please leave that to us. HAHA)

World Dragon Boat Athletes
Dragon Boat World Athletes

This series aims to inspire the younger generation of dragon boat paddlers to continue on the legacy, for they are the future of this sport; and if this, too, convinces them to pursue their dream of representing their country in the World Championships and become Dragon Boat World Athletes one day, then it truly validates the purpose of this platform.

For veteran paddlers of any club and those who are already in their prime, this is for you as well. May this sparkle up your health and fitness regimen and reignite your passion and dedication to dragon boat. After all, this sport does not only form bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood, it brings the world closer together.

World Dragon Boat Athletes
World Dragon Boat Athletes

Author’s Note: All images used with permission from Photographer Anthony Gallaccio.

The Future of Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat has gained enormous popularity in countries like Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, United States, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Great Britain, Slovak Republic, and Sweden. In Western Asia: Qatar, Israel and United Arab Emirates. In Asia Pacific, it has become widely popular in Myanmar, Singapore, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, India, Macau, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and China (where it all began some 2,500 years back).

The Future of Dragon Boat

While it is already popular in so many countries, the sport is getting more and more admired and well-liked, as evident in the growing number of membership in the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). It now has over 80 members and with newcomers from Monaco, Argentina, Ivory Coast, Qatar and Greece.

The following are fifteen definitive wishes that may have crossed your mind as a passionate dragon boater. No matter how wild or crazy these wishes or predictions may be, you have aspired for one, or two, or even five of them, for this sport that we all love. The question is: How do you contribute in pushing to the future of Dragon Boat?

15. To headline in Sports Illustrated Online.

After all, Dragon Boat is such a fun, tough, exciting, and colourful sport. It deserves to be in the ranks of other popular sports such as Basketball, Cricket or Baseball–which often headlines the news on print, online and TV. Are you ready for your close-up?

14. To be able to see a dragon boat coach or an IDBF Official in the cover of TIME Magazine.

For starters, it’s great to have Mike Haslam, Executive President at IDBF and Mike Thomas, Chair Holder for Competition and Technical Commission at IDBF, grace the cover of the weekly magazine. Dragon boat coaches are often neglected and under recognised. They deserve more.

13. To have a dragon boat paddler in the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Dragon boaters are sexy beasts and belles. Enough said already.

12. To be a top story feature on Walt Disney Company’s ESPN.

While the sport has been a part of traditional water sports of many cultures, especially of the Asia and the Pacific, it is now the fastest growing team sports globally. It propagates the advancement of health and fitness and likewise promotes camaraderie and sportsmanship. I would want to watch an exclusive feature of it in the most popular sports channel.

11. To have individual paddlers rise to colossal stardom.

Like other team sports, dragon boat paddlers deserve to have the recognition and popularity as that of David Beckham (Soccer), Lionel Messi (Soccer), Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket), Shahid Afridi (Cricket), Alex Rodriquez (Major League Baseball), Derek Jeter (MLB), Lebron James (Basketball), Brittney Griner (Basketball), Kobe Bryant (Basketball) or Christiano Ronaldo (Soccer).

10. For teams to become strong valuable global brands.

Think of dragon boat teams becoming as big as the New York Yankees, Real Madrid or Manchester United. Souvenir shops selling merchandise with your team name and logo on mugs, scarves, pens, t-shirts, and key chains. Oh, and yes, a co-branding on Gatorade Tumblers is not impossible, too. This could happen.

9. For the Academe to provide Athletic Scholarships for Dragon Boat.

Imagine getting a free college education for Dragon Boating. It wouldn’t also hurt to have more empirical researches and studies about this sport; and to cite Dragon Boat in the core subjects taken by Sport Science Majors. In some universities, it is already a Sport Elective in the Physical Education courses. Way to go!

8. For Universities and Colleges to pay their dragon boat student-athletes.

This will lead to creating student-athletes to jumpstart a sporting career in dragon boat while studying. Ultimately, that’s where and how the big names in Basketball and other sports get discovered.

7. For National Sports Agencies to compensate their Dragon Boat National Teams fairly.

In the future, we really wish that each country’s Sports Commission or Sports Ministry would allocate same allowances and grants for the Dragon Boat sport–an equal footing with Table Tennis, Rowing, Basketball, Soccer, Cricket, et cetera. Oh, and, with additional bonuses for successful races and other special perks for these equally hardworking athletes.

6. For NIKE and ADIDAS to create dragon boat designed kits.

These two sportswear giants should start prioritising with their research on dragon boat training wear. Since Dragon boaters, or any athletes of different athletic disciplines for that matter, are fond of buying just about any gear that’s related to the sport, it will be a sure hit. Most especially if the product has the proven technology which maximises the athletic performance. Perhaps Ralph Lauren can take part in the design process, too.

Nike and Adidas, you’re welcome! You may share some of your millions to this blogger for the idea.

5. For EA Sports and other gaming companies to develop a dragon boat sport video and computer games.

Wouldn’t it be fun? Straight line races or long distance races; Tail Race System or Repechage System; Men’s, Women’s or Mixed Classes; Seniors or Juniors; there’s just lots of areas to explore, and, it can be multi-player, too. The game would let players choose on which race venue or race distance they’d want to play; or, they can pick a player’s position or even multi-positions in the boat. To add more excitement to the computer game, it should have race officials to implement the rules of racing, et cetera. Again, it’ll be fun and interactive.

You’re welcome, EA Sports!

4. Live Telecast of the Games

This goes to SKY SPORTS, MSG Network and other major sports networks: Give us a live telecast of the major annual dragon boat events such as the Club Crew World Championships, EDBF European Club Crew Championships, European Nations Champs, Asian Champs, IDBF World Championships.

3. Dragon Boat = Super Bowl

For Dragon Boat to be as big as the Super Bowl–where advertisers would kill to spend millions of their advertising budget on a 30-seconder spot; and to have music big shots like Beyoncé, Bruno Mars or The Black Eyed Peas to perform (as in Halftime) just right before the Semis. It’s not a secret that dragon boaters love to party!

2. For the IDBF World Nations Championships to be like the FIFA World.

Try to imagine the future of dragon boat races where thousands of fans fly in to the host country to watch the races. This will not only promote the sport of dragon boat and its development but will also breed international co-operation and unity. Since it is a water sports, and it attracts massive participation, I think a good mission would be to promulgate awareness and peace on the territorial disputes and claims in the oceans and seas. We only have one planet, let’s share it peacefully.

1. To be a featured event in the Summer Olympic Games.

A bit of good news: IDBF’s application for Recognition in the IOC International Federation had been submitted to the IOC Sports Department and is now in progress. Let’s keep our paddles crossed!

What’s your wish for the future of the sport of dragon boating?

Photo Credit: Kelvin Pao
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