When it counts

- February 25, 2011

Gymnastics coach David Kikuchi is a two-time Olympian. While competing, his specialty was the rings.

C A N A D A   G A M E S

Gymnast David Kikuchi has been to all the big competitions: the Olympics, the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He knows a thing or two about keeping cool under pressure.

Which, as the head coach of the Nova Scotia men’s gymnastics team at the Canada Games, is something he could share with the teenage athletes on his team to help them prepare.

“It’s great that the Canada Games are at home, but it does mean there are extra distractions to deal with,” says Mr. Kikuchi, who has been coaching full-time since retiring from the national gymnastics team in 2008. “When the pressure’s on, you’ve got to focus and concentrate on what you’re doing ... easier said than done when the stands are packed and you’re competing against people you’ve looked up to for so long.

“Luckily for us, it all turned out.”

Mr. Kikuchi’s team brought in two medals for the host team: a gold for Jared Goad, 17, in the floor exercise competition and a bronze for Stephen Clouter, 14, on the parallel bars. Team Nova Scotia now has eight medals in total: three gold, four silver, and one bronze.

“They all did well when it counted,” he said proudly.

Mr. Kikuchi graduated from Dalhousie with a science degree in 2001. Coached by his father Tak, he was the Canadian champion in rings, winning three national championships. He competed in the Summer Olympics in Athens in 2005 and in Beijing in 2008.


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