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Underrated: The Story Of Akash Modi
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Akash Modi’s story is similar to other gymnastics. His parents put him in gymnastics because he was “jumping off the walls” and “climbing onto the refrigerator.” They enrolled him as a 6-year-old at Monmouth Gymnastics in Morganville, New Jersey.

“The very first day the guy who was testing my skills was like, ‘Hey, this kid is good. Let’s put him on the team.’ And so I’ve continued since.”

“I never forced him,” says Yuriy Aminov, a native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, who coached Modi for 13 years at Monmouth. “He’s very smart. He made it very, very easy [to coach] him. It was a happy time when I worked with him.”

Then Modi enrolled at Stanford, where he majored in mechanical engineering. He’s currently working on a master’s in the same field.

“Akash is focused, determined, intelligent and very efficient about his training,” says Thom Glielmi, Modi’s coach at Stanford. “He is very calculated when he is working out. He is always thinking but has the trust in the program and confidence in himself to not over-think.”

Modi was born May 9, 1995, in Edison, New Jersey. He won the all-around and parallel bars at the 2013 Junior Olympic Championships. In his four years at the NCAA Championships all-around competition (2014-17), he placed second, first, second, first. In 2017 he also won the coveted Nissen-Emery Award, which honors the top senior student-athlete.

Modi was an alternate to the 2016 Rio Olympics. His most recent competition was the Pacific Rim Championships in Medellin, Colombia, where his team won the gold. He also won parallel bars and placed second all-around.

Read the whole story in the June 2018 issue of International Gymnast.

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