The Olympic and World Champion Epke Jan Zonderland confirm his participation
Epke Jan Zonderland (born 16 April 1986) is a Dutch gymnast and 2012 Olympics gold medalist in the high bar. He also won the 2013 World Championship on the high bar. His nickname is “The flying Dutchman”.
Zonderland was born on 16 April 1986 in Lemmer, Netherlands. He started exercising gymnastics at the age of four. He has two brothers (Herre and Johan) and one sister (Geeske) who are also international gymnasts.
Zonderland studies Medicine at the University of Groningen.
In 2005 at the World Championships in Melbourne Zonderland and Jeffrey Wammes were the first ever Dutch gymnasts in the history of the sport to qualify themselves for the all-around final. Zonderland eventually ended up in the 11th position. In that same year at the European Championships he only reached the 15th position, which was a disappointment considering his World Championship result.
After his success in 2005 he continued in 2006 by reaching the final of the horizontal bar competition during the European Championships in Volos, where he was 6th. At the World Cup meeting in Glasgow at the same discipline he won the silver medal and in Tehran, Zonderland claimed his first World Cup win and the gold medal. That year he also became Dutch national all-around champion for the second time in his career.
In 2007 he competed in both the European and the World Championships. At the European Championships in Amsterdam he reached a unique level by finishing sixth in the all-around event, the highest ever position by a Dutch gymnast. During the same Championships he also won the bronze medal at the parallel bars. Later, in September at the World Championships in Stuttgart Zonderland finished in 4th position at the horizontal bar, which earned him a qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Later in 2007 he won his second World Cup event at the horizontal bar in Glasgow.
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Zonderland reached the high bar final in which he finished seventh.
In 2009, he won the silver medal in High Bar at the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. At the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam, he earned another silver medal on High Bar. In 2011 he became European champion for the first time.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Zonderland won an Olympic gold medal in the high bar with a personal best score of 16.533. His routine included a triple combo of Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman, then the most difficult release combination. His performance was regarded by many as one of the top performances of the 2012 games. He is the first Dutch male gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics as well as the first Dutch gymnast (male or female) to win an individual Olympic medal.
At the World Championships of 2013 in Antwerp he became World champion for the first time. He performed a double combo of Cassina and Kovacs, followed by a Kolman and Gaylord 2, and a stuck layout double-double. He has now won the European, Olympic, and World championships.