Kui Yuanyuan

Kui Yuanyuan

Chinese gymnast
Date of Birth: 23.06.1981
Country: China

  1. Biograpy of Kui Yuanyuan
  2. Early Career and First World Championship
  3. Olympic Games and Continued Success
  4. Further Achievements
  5. National Games and Asian Games
  6. End of Gymnastics Career and Personal Life

Biograpy of Kui Yuanyuan

Kui Yuanyuan is a Chinese gymnast who specialized in balance beam, floor exercise, and vault. She competed in two Olympic Games and two World Championships.

Early Career and First World Championship

Kui gained recognition after the 1996 World Championships, where she unexpectedly won the gold in the floor exercise. This made her the first Chinese gymnast to achieve first place in such a high-level competition. Interestingly, Kui's performance on the balance beam, which she traditionally excelled in, was not as impressive. She had an unfortunate fall in the semifinals and did not make it to the final.

Olympic Games and Continued Success

In 1996, Kui participated in the Olympic Games, where the Chinese team finished in 4th place. However, Kui had a highly productive performance in the floor exercise, earning a high score of 9.875. This score not only set a new record, but also surpassed the previous record set by Shannon Miller. Unfortunately, due to a fall on the balance beam, Kui received a relatively low score of 8.925 and did not advance to the final. She also did not medal in the floor exercise, despite her status as the world champion.

Further Achievements

In 1997, at the next World Championships, Kui won two bronze medals - one individually and one as part of the Chinese team. Her solo performance on the balance beam drew controversy, as she executed a highly difficult routine and received a score only .012 points less than Gina Gogean, who performed a relatively easier routine. Kui initially contended for the 2nd place, but ultimately shared the position with Svetlana Khorkina. Eventually, the silver medal was awarded to the Russian gymnast. The president of the Federation of International Gymnastics also acknowledged the possible unfairness of the judges' decision.

National Games and Asian Games

In 1997, Kui won the National Games, becoming the champion of her country. The following year, at the 1998 Asian Games, she won two gold medals and one silver. She also earned a silver and a bronze at the World Cup Final.

End of Gymnastics Career and Personal Life

In 1999, Kui was unable to participate in the World Championships due to a serious injury. It took her almost a year to recover, and by the time of the 2000 Olympics, she was in shape. Kui had high hopes of winning the gold in the individual balance beam competition, but unfortunately, she sustained another injury during the preliminary rounds. To her immense disappointment, the gold went to her teammate Liu Xuan. Following this setback, Kui decided to retire from gymnastics.

After undergoing a complex knee surgery, Kui enrolled at the University of International Business and Economics. However, she only stayed there for a few semesters. In March 2006, she got married to a professional football player whom she met two years prior in an online computer game. It is known that Kui maintains relationships with some of her teammates. Even today, critics and sports analysts openly consider Kui Yuanyuan as one of the most skilled and experienced gymnasts in the history of balance beam performances. Her program at the 1996 Olympics is still regarded as one of the most challenging routines.