Fabian Hambuechen is retired from gymnastics. No, really, he is.
After four Olympic Games and three medals, including long-awaited gold on high bar in Rio in 2016, Germany’s gymnastics lion hung up his grips and stepped away from the sport for good. Except for that time he competed for his bundesliga team. And now he’s taken up trampoline.
There he was representing the club TV Buttelborn at a German trampoline league meet last weekend. From the video footage, Hambuechen looks like he could be competitive, though not yet competitive with the best in the world, or even with the members of the German trampoline team. But the basics are certainly all there.
“It’s just fun for me and a good way to stay in shape,” the 31-year-old said, brushing off rumors of a comeback to the international stage in a new discipline. Because, you know, he’s retired. Really.
Except that he’ll take the stage at this month’s Superstars of Gymnastics spectacle/competition on March 24 at London’s 02 Arena. And he has plans to compete at something called the Sauerkraut Cup over Easter.
For what it’s worth, Hambuchen finished fourth in the men’s trampoline competition for TV Buttelborn. “I hate fourth place,” he attested to the Burstadter Zeitung afterward. “I’ll have to get a little better for next time.”