Gymnast Spotlight: Syque Caesar (Part 1)
Posted: Jul 15 2014
With the 20th Commonwealth Games starting July 23rd, athletes from all over the world are making their final preparations for their trip to Glasgow, Scotland. One such athlete is Bangladesh gymnast Syque Caesar. Fresh off a successful Senior year at the University of Michigan, Caesar will be aiming to claim his countries first gymnastics medal against the likes of Scotland's @PurvisDanny and @DanKeatings and England's @MaxWhitlock1 and @LouisSmith1989. Turn Gymnastics will be following Caesar's journey in a three part blog series to give you a flavor of what it's like to be involved in a major international multi-sport event.
Part One: Pre-Games
Turn: How has training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games been going? Can you tell us a little about your training plan?
Syque: Training for the Games initially started for me around the beginning of May. I had just used up all of my athletic eligibility after competing in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships in April – in which my team, the University of Michigan, claimed the championship trophy! I took some time off after the competition because the NCAA season is absolutely brutal and I wanted to recover a bit before starting to train for Glasgow.I decided to train all-around again immediately after NCAA’s and pick up pommel horse and still rings in addition to my usual four (floor, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar). It has been, and still is, very challenging for me to do all six events, but it’s also very rewarding. In terms of preparations, I spent the first month or so honing in on basics and proper techniques on pommel horse and rings while working on new skills and upgrades on my usual four. I then started putting parts and sequences together on pommel horse and rings as soon as possible to get used to doing longer turns on these events, which were basically foreign to me after not having done them for so long. I started doing full routines on all the events starting about a month and a half out from the competition in order to give me time to make adjustments and perfect the new skills and routines. I’ve upgraded my floor and parallel bars routines as well as added a second vault. I’m starting to feel more confident in my gymnastics after each intense week of training.
Turn: How does gymnastics in the U.S. compare to that in Bangladesh?
Syque: I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to go to school and train in the US where there are so many resources available for me to be able to reach my full potential as a gymnast. This is probably the biggest difference between gymnastics in the US and gymnastics in Bangladesh. I was able to train with gymnasts in Bangladesh and many, if not all, are extremely motivated and hardworking. However, the knowledge base and experience on the coaching side of the spectrum is where the sport struggles in Bangladesh. The main training facility, about an hour drive outside the capital city of Dhaka, is great; in fact, much better than a lot of the gyms I grew up training in. Bangladesh is in need of willing and knowledgeable coaches to help jumpstart and take their men’s and women’s programs to the next level. There are so many young and driven Bangladeshi gymnasts that just need the right guidance to do special things in this sport.
Turn: What are your goals for competition?
Syque: I’m excited to be able to compete at the Commonwealth Games. I would like to make the all-around finals and at least two event finals. Specifically, my main goal would be to win at least one medal.
The team here would like to wish Syque and all the other competitors good luck. Syque will be wearing the new Raven and Stratum designs during the Games, try them out in your team colors here. In Part Two, Syque will be updating us about his experiences in Glasgow so far so check back soon!
- Team Turn