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Switzerland's Hegi Has High Bar Hopes For 2014
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IG Online's annual series of holiday-themed features continues with Switzerland's Oliver Hegi, who told IG he is working to compensate for a disastrous grip malfunction that botched his chances in the all-around final at this fall's world championships by earning success in 2014.

Oliver Hegi (Switzerland)

"Actually I wasn't very disappointed or frustrated after the finals, because I already achieved my goal in the qualifications with the ninth rank," said Hegi, who finished 23rd all-around in Antwerp, where he was unable to finish his routine on high bar after his grip broke. "I knew it would be very hard to score as many points as in the qualification. Even though I fell on pommel horse, I was very confident and did my best. Unfortunately my grip snapped on high bar, but it was easy to reconcile, because it was not my own mistake."

Born Feb. 20, 1993, in Villmergen, Hegi has been a mainstay on the Swiss team for the past two Olympic cycles. He won four silver medals at the 2010 European Junior Championships in Birmingham; placed first all-around at the 2011 Trofeo di Lugano in Italy; and placed third all-around at the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix, where he was first on pommel horse, second on vault and third on horizontal bar.

Hegi views his performance in Antwerp as a learning experience.

"I think the biggest point I will have to work on is my stability and steadiness," said Hegi, who also this year won the bronze medal on high bar at the Challenge Cup of Doha and two medals at the Dityatin Cup in St. Petersburg. "And, of course, I will need to develop my routines and make them more difficult."

Hegi said he is confident in his role as a veteran and mentor on the Swiss team that includes Olympian Claudio Capelli and fellow 2013 Worlds all-around finalist Pablo Brägger.

"I really hope I can improve myself and be an important member in the Swiss team for the Olympic Games in 2016, and help the younger gymnasts gain experience," he said.

Hegi has ambitious goals for all-around and apparatuses in the new year.

"My goals for 2014 are to qualify for the all-around, pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar finals at both the European and world championships," said Hegi, who trains under head coach Bernhard Fluck and assistant coaches Laurent Guélzec and Laurent Tricoire in Lenzburg. "My goal besides gymnastics is staying in school."

In the immediate future, Hegi intends to relax and enjoy the Christmas season.

"I will spend the holidays with my family and my friends in Switzerland," said Hegi, who lives in Schafisheim. "I haven't planned anything special yet. Most of the time I will be relaxing and recovering from training."

Hegi said he in undecided on other potential changes in 2014.

"I don't have any new year's resolution yet," he told IG, "but maybe I will think of one in the next three weeks."

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Swiss gymnastics includes:
"No Turning Back" - Claudio Capelli profile (June 2011)
"Swiss Hit" - Ariella Käslin profile (December 2008)
"Swiss Thrill-seeker" - Ariella Käslin short profile (January/February 2007)
"A New Swiss Standout" - Ilaria Käslin profile (December 2013)
"Full Force" – Giulia Steingruber interview (June 2013)
"A New Hit for the Swiss" – Giulia Steingruber profile (December 2009)

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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