Kim Bui in the Sporthilfe Talk: "It was very special to be able to stand here once again"

munich2022 |

After her last routine on the uneven bars Kim Bui was overcome with emotions
Deutsche Sporthilfe invited top athletes to a Generation Talk on six dates, including gymnast Kim Bui
The gymnast, who will end her active career after the European Championships, patiently signed autographs for her fans

Gymnast Kim Bui took to the apparatus for the last time at the European Championships in Munich and ended her career after these competitions in front of her home audience. She had been a member of the German national gymnastics team for 17 years. At 33, she is not only a longstanding and consistent member of Gymnastics Team Germany, but also a three-time Olympian and can boast numerous World Championship and European Championship participations. In the Sporthilfe Talk next to the Olympic Hall, the gymnast talked about the bronze medal in the team, her last routine in the uneven bars final and her emotional farewell.

Kim, you won the bronze medal with the team last Saturday. Then came also the emotional Sunday, the farewell and the end of your gymnastics career. Is that already through in your head or is that a process that will still take many weeks?

Kim Bui: "I think it still takes a while to process it, but it was already crass what happened last week. I came here knowing it was going to be my career finale. But the fact that it worked out with the bronze medal in the end, especially as a team, that's another feeling than when you win a medal on your own. As a team, we went through it together and fought our way through. We tried to support each other and we carried each other through this competition. This team spirit that we had was simply sensational and the spectators, of course, who were on site, also carried us through the competition. We didn't expect bronze in the end, that was an absolute surprise. In the end, we were just happy in each other's arms and were very happy about this bronze medal."

At the uneven bars final, you performed the last routine of your gymnastics career. When you know this is the last time and the whole hall is cheering you on, was there an immense pressure on you or did you not feel the pressure at all because the day before you had already been so successful with bronze in the team?

Kim Bui: "Of course, uneven bars as the final event was great because I also won my individual medal in my career on the uneven bars in 2011 at the home European Championships in Berlin. That's why it somehow brought me full circle. Immediately before that, I really didn't think about anything. I prepared for this moment for a very long time and it was clear to me that it would now be the last routine. I didn't think about anything during the exercise, I didn't feel anything, I didn't feel anything and I didn't do anything. I just let my body do it, all that I have been training all these years. The moment I landed on my feet, I knew I had done my last bar routine. That moment was so unbelievable and it all came crashing down on me. I just cried and cried and sobbed and lay in my coach's arms and just couldn't believe it because then such a weight fell off me. At that moment it was a liberating feeling. It was a great routine, it wasn't my best routine, I know that, but it didn't matter at that moment. The bronze medal from the day before with the team was already sensational and also just being in this parallel bars final, that was something very special to be able to stand here again."

Sporthilfe was allowed to be by your side all these years. What has the Sporthilfe support also meant to you personally in that long time?

Kim Bui: "I don't even know exactly how many years I was ultimately supported by Sporthilfe, but it's really been quite a few years and I'm really super grateful that there was always financial support. I'm also thankful that I was able to be part of great experiences. There have always been great events that I have associated with Sporthilfe and also the many offers that always benefit us athletes. Now, of course, I can take advantage of even more of them. Simply because I have a bit more time now."

Now that your gymnastics career is over, what's next?

Kim Bui: "For now, I want to enjoy the free time I have. I don't have any big plans. I'm looking forward to whatever comes next. I haven't had much time lately, which is why I'm completely open to new things."

Text/interview & photos: Milena Kreber