In the world of gymnastics, we often hear stories about wear and tear, which is unfortunately part of the territory. From mental woes and physical ailments, ranging from ones faced by Simone Biles to Gabby Douglas and many more, the sport doesn’t discriminate. Adding to that, most athletes dare to make a renaissance. One such athlete is 24-year-old Brody Malone. Despite facing grave injuries accrued in the DTB Pokal event in Germany, Brody is now back with a flourish, trudging along in full swing toward the Paris Olympics. His return as a performer at the Winter Cup 2024 also showcased him with more tricks up his sleeve.

The renowned gymnast has taken on the challenge of returning to the medal podium to represent the U.S. men after a long hiatus since 2008. In the previous competition, due to his injury, Japan secured the gold, although the U.S. team did manage to bring home a bronze medal. Although a little rusty with his routines, he seems to be picking up pace slowly but steadily. He is also imbibing certain trade secrets from a certain Japanese contender Hashimoto. Will he extrapolate this come Paris?

Brody Malone likes the cut of the jib of another gymnast

Every gymnast has a figure they strive to emulate. For Brody Malone, it’s Daiki Hashimoto. Daiki Hashimoto is the yin to Malone’s yang as they are professional rivals but at the same time Brody Malone sees him as the pinnacle. Although the former is younger than the latter in years, his magnitude of experience is something Malone hopes to reach. Hashimoto claimed the Olympic high bar medal spot that Malone missed by just one in 2021. At the 2022 worlds, Hashimoto secured victory in the all-around championship while competing against Malone. Hashimoto scored a perfect ten for high bar gold. Does the failure to defeat Hashimoto reveal the secret to his motivation?

Brody Malone placed Daiki Hashimoto’s picture in his gym as a constant reminder of the competitor he aims to defeat. Malone stated, “I have got to remind myself every day that’s who I’m trying to beat.” Since 2008, the U.S. men’s team has seen a dearth in an Olympic medal. Currently, Malone’s sole focus is to perfect his preexisting floor, vault and high-bar routines. For Malone, the turning point in showing his deference to Hashimoto was when he witnessed the latter’s pivotal high bar title.

“You never know how bad you really want something until it gets taken away from you,” said Malone of the complexities of gymnastics compounded by his prevailing injuries. Laser focused on the Paris Olympics, Brody Malone is taking baby steps, starting this January. Malone added, “Of course, before my injury, I was like, yeah, i want to go to the Olympics. But now when I had that opportunity kind of taken away, it made me realize, wow, I really do want to go, so that’s kind of what has been pushing me now.” Malone’s transition from being at his best to having to relearn due to his injury made him sit out for a while.

Germany’s injury-inducing episode unveiled

For two time National All-Around Champion and the 2020 Olympian, the year 2023 and 2024 seemed to pave the way for his success in the game. However, the change in routine forced upon Brody Malone’s journey due to his injury let him find his groove back and sit out of gymnastics for several months. Malone never anticipated the transition from spending hours in the gym with his trainer and being confined to a sedentary lifestyle. Enduring three surgeries with a 7 month break rattled his cage but no worry since sunny optimism triumphs all else.

However, making the difficult decision to relocate from Stanford University to Sarasota, Florida presented Brody Malone with the opportunity to better prepare himself for the Olympics. Malone explained, “It just made a little bit more sense to me to move to Florida because they were going to have a full-time physical therapist there to work with me.” In Florida, he found a trainer who specialized as a therapist, providing him with individualized care and dual responsibility.

Although leaving behind the Stanford team, this seemed to be a blessing in disguise for Malone. However, he showcased his the new skill at the Winter Cup, adding a tenth to his routine on the rings. “My high bar routine I’m actually planning on doing is an upgraded routine compared to what i was doing before,” said Malone. Will Paris see him with his reignited fervour yet again?