Going Beyond the Gold in Gymnastics By Lim Vin Tsen
Tan Fu Jie is a 21-year-old Artistic Gymnastics athlete who is currently studying for his Bachelor of Psychology at HELP Subang 2 campus. He has been participating in his sport for over 14 years and became interested in gymnastics after watching the event being played live during the Olympics. Since then, Fu Jie credits his biggest accomplishment in his sports to winning the gold medal for the pommel horse event in the SUKMA Games. His success in taking the top award is attributed to his motto of “practice makes perfect” and this is key to his growing success and the reason why he loves the sport, which in turns drives his motivation to always wanting to succeed. His ultimate achievement would be to win Gold for pommel horse during the next SEA Games.
Fu Jie’s sets his goals level by level, meaning that when he begins learning a new skill for his sport, he would set his mind in ensuring that he has properly mastered that particular skill at least five times during his subsequent training sessions before he is completely satisfied and moves on to his next training set. Yet in spite of all his preparation and constant practice, the biggest challenge that he has yet to overcome is the stress that he faces every time he is in a competition. The ensuing stress he feels can sometimes mess up his concentration. However, whenever he is struck by this paralyzing fear, he would take a breather and relax and remember his training sessions as doing so helps to calm him down.
One thing that Fu Jie does not stress about is his diet. He does not really need to control his diet and is free to eat anything and everything that he wants. As a gymnast, he believes that what sets him apart from his contemporaries who have tailed off in their athletic participation and abilities is that he has a steely passion for his sport and that he also has his parents’ tremendous support throughout his sporting career. They have always supported his decision, as well as his coach’s decision, and that is what Fu Jie feels is the key difference between himself and the other athletes.
That being said, he points out that if anyone is interested in picking up artistic gymnastics, they should start by watching YouTube videos about the sport and observing the techniques and body movements a gymnast makes. For those who are seriously thinking of becoming a gymnast and is looking for a coach, Fu Jie recommends his own coach, Onn Kwang Tung. Not only is Mr. Onn a skilled and dedicated coach but he will always see the potential in you and will never give up on you, no matter what.
Hence, Fu Jie’s advice to anyone interested in gymnastics or in any other sport is that “if you love it, do it!” Never say never and always know that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Fu Jie is inspired by his coach who was a great gymnast during his time and achieved success before retiring to become a coach. His coach is a person he has looked up to since young. Since the pommel horse was his coach’s category in gymnastics, Fu Jie also chose to participate in the pommel horse category as well.
Tan Fu Jie performing on the pommel horse.