Marcel Van Minh Phuc Long Nguyen – sounds exotic, even though the 28-year-old was born and raised in the rather more down to earth Bavarian capital of Munich. The son of a Vietnamese father and a German mother, he took up gymnastics at the age of four. His talent was quickly recognized and the boy was nurtured in a gymnastics club. At the age of seven he made the leap to the intensive training centre, then two years later was included in the perspective squad, the circle of the best young gymnasts in Germany.

Since then, the Porsche Brand Ambassador has been German champion seventeen times. He won two silvers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – creating a small sensation. After that, Stern magazine named him the "Silver Posterboy". Loox sport magazine spoke of a "new star in the gymnastics sky". Quite a lot of attention for Nguyen who often comes across as shy.

He's now used to it. Also to the laundry baskets full of post – particularly from Asia, where Nguyen has a large fan base. "There are always some really cool things among the post that make me laugh," said Nguyen to the Stuttgarter Zeitung.

"A real athlete – just like me"

Stuttgart is now his second home. The 1.62 meter gymnast has been training here at the Olympic Training Centre since 2007. Nguyen is known as an all-rounder – he took part in the combined competition at the DTB Cup and is particularly strong on the rings, the floor and the parallel bars. Here he masters the difficult "Tsukahara" dismount like no other. It was just something he tried out in training one day. Within a week, he'd got the gymnastics move right.

When he trains, he goes for it with his whole body. Not for nothing does he have "Pain is Temporary  Pride is Forever" tattooed on his chest. He is proud of his car by the way: a Porsche Cayman GT4. "A real athlete – just like me," says Nguyen.

For Nguyen the athlete, after the DTB Cup the preparations for the Olympics start in earnest. Let's see if the Silver Posterboy turns into a golden one.

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