1996 Olympic Floor Champion to return to competition?


1996 Olympic Floor champion Ioannis Melissanidis, is rumoured to be considering returning to competition. AFP reports today that 34 year old Melissanidis who became a national hero upon winning gold on floor in Atlanta is considering returning to competition but rules out returning for the London 2012 Olympics.

“It is always there in my dreams to make a comeback,” Melissanidis told AFP during a brief trip to Paris.

“I am still training three hours a day and I am in good shape which is maybe a bad thing because it makes me believe I am still capable of doing it.

“My old coach watched me last week in Athens and says that I am at around 70 percent and that anytime I want to get serious just to give him a call.

“But you know, I have never officially retired. And there is always that desire to compete. It is in the blood. Just as you need water for life, I need gymnastics.”

Melissanidis, who is now based in New York where he is pursuing his other passion theatre, ruled out a return for London 2012.

“It would be impossible for next year’s Olympics but there are other competitions – European championships, World Cup events, the Mediterranean Games…anything is possible.”

Melissanidis competed at the Sydney Olympics where he placed 7th in the Vault Final but failed to compete at the Athens 2004 Olympics due to fracturing two ribs. He says that coming back to compete at his age is not a problem as long as you are in shape and looks at veteran German gymnast Oskana Chusovitina who is still competing and winning medals. Here is Medlissanidis’ winning routine in Atlanta:


*Image via Getty Images

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