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Shuji Tsurumi2008

Shuji Tsurumi - Japan

Shuji Tsurumi
Shuji Tsurumi, Class of 2008, International Gymnastics Hall of Fame

Even within the Japanese brotherhood of champion gymnasts who ruled the sport in the 1960s, Shuji Tsurumi belongs to a special fraternity.

Tsurumi was a member of the first Japanese squad to win an Olympic team title, and its first to win a world team title. By the end of Tsurumi's career, he collected four team gold medals in Olympic and World Championships competition.

Tsurumi made his Olympic debut at the 1960 Games in Rome, where Japan toppled the Soviet Union for its first Olympic team victory. All six members of the Japanese squad finished among the top nine all-around, with Tsurumi a solid fourth. Tsurumi went on to win the bronze medal on pommel horse.

At the 1964 Olympics that his country hosted in Tokyo, Tsurumi was again an important scoring component for Japan. He won the all-around silver medal, helping his team win its second consecutive Olympic team title in the process. In the event finals, Tsurumi won silver medals on pommel horse and parallel bars.

Tsurumi's reliable performances assure Japanese supremacy between Olympiads, as well. At the 1962 Worlds in Prague, he contributed a ninth-place all-around finish to his country's first world team title. Four years later, at the 1966 Worlds in Prague, Tsurumi took the all-around silver medal and again helped Japan win as a team.

For his role in establishing the Japanese gymnastics dynasty that continues today, Tsurumi was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2008.

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