Giarnni Regini-Moran recently made his senior Olympic debut at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the British men’s gymnastics team finishing fourth in the Team final alongside his fellow teammates Max Whitlock, Joe Fraser and James Hall. Earlier this year at the European Championships, Giarnni came away with Bronze in Vault and in 2019, he returned from injury winning Silver in All-Around and Vault and Gold in Floor at the British Championships, and he was also selected that year for the team going to the World Championships. As a junior, Giarnni had a hugely successful career including winning a number of Gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games and the European Junior Championships, however, currently, Giarnni is not competing as he is recovering from shoulder surgery but is aiming to be back in time for the Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham next summer. Chatting with Giarnni, he tells us about competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, making the Team final and winning Bronze at the European Championships earlier this year.
How did you find the experience competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for your senior Olympic debut?
The experience competing in Tokyo was incredible and just as I imagined, minus the crowds… The adrenaline pumping around the body and just being present and just enjoying every moment.
What was it like making the Team final and finishing fourth at the Games?
Making the Team final is always an amazing achievement, that’s what we’ve trained for. Fourth place is also an amazing achievement, I suppose it’s the hardest place to finish just missing out on the medals but credit to the top three countries. I had the competition of my life in the Team final and I can happily say I gave everything I had and that’s the most important thing.
Can you tell us about staying in the Olympic village and what was it like?
The Olympic village was really cool, massive food halls with a range of food options, games areas and athlete lounges and many more things to pass time by. COVID rules meant that athletes couldn’t really meet up with other athletes from other nations but it wasn’t worth that risk anyway. Yes, the beds in the rooms were made from cardboard and maybe a little firm but we all still had good sleep on them.
Is there anything you enjoyed most about competing as Team GB alongside Max Whitlock, Joe Fraser and James Hall?
The thing I enjoyed most about competing alongside my teammates is that they’re like my brothers, we have all been through the same journey to get here. We all work so hard together and it was just nice to go through the reward of being at Olympics together as, for most of us, it was our first time. The team spirit we have is out of this world and it’s just such a good team to be a part of.
You attended the Team GB Homecoming Concert, what was it like attending the event at The SSE Arena?
The Homecoming event was incredible. After such a major event and especially having to fly home early, for me, it was just good to be back with the team. I was at home lost and confused because the Olympics was still going on yet I was back home trying to take everything in. For me, the Homecoming event gave me that real closure and just time to enjoy, relax and celebrate, not only with the boys, but all the athletes together.
How did it feel coming away as Bronze medallist in Vault at the European Championships earlier this year?
It felt incredible coming away with a Bronze medal at the Euros as so far in my senior career I had not made the podium. It was more than a medal for me, it was a moment. A moment where, after all I have been through with injuries and setbacks, I’m finally back where I belong seeing the rewards.
What was it like getting back to competitions after COVID closed gyms?
It was hard getting back to competitions after COVID, no crowds, masks on in hot sweaty arenas and, for me, I was grateful that they still went ahead however it was very strange having no atmosphere.
Can you tell us about some of the other senior competitions you’ve performed at and how did you find returning from injury?
2019 was my first year back from injury and there was a lot of pressure because this was my “make it or break it” year. It started off with the British Championships, which was very successful winning the Silver medal All-Around, Gold on Floor and Silver on Vault. I then slowly progressed my way through the year into the World Championships team. This was a very special moment making my first senior major, however learning a lot from that competition too. It didn’t go to plan for me and I made some errors that I wouldn’t normally do.
We understand you’ve recently undergone more surgery, when do you think you’ll be able to start training fully again and what competition are you hoping to be back for?
I have just had cuff repair on the left shoulder and I will be having the right one done soon too. I’m not really putting a timestamp on this as now I’ve achieved my dream, health is something I’m putting first. Six to twelve months is the recovery time so the next big event I’m aiming for is the Commonwealth Games 2022.
When injury-free, how often do you train and what is a typical training day?
When injury-free, I normally do one gymnastics session a day which will last for roughly four hours and I train six days a week. I’d then do three sessions a week as well in the weights gym where I will focus on legs strength and shoulder strength. Those sessions last around one-and-a-half hours.
How was it competing at junior level and winning numerous medals including at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games?
As a junior I achieved so much, probably one of the most successful juniors there has been. Also, as a junior you have less to worry about as there are eight skills in the routines and no injuries (for me). I loved it all and Nanjing 2014 was such a great experience, if anything it prepared me for Tokyo, memories that will last a lifetime.
Where does your love of gymnastics come from and how did you start?
My love for gymnastics comes from when I was a young kid and I loved the idea of trying crazy stuff, I used to really want to walk on my hands and do a backflip and now it’s part of my everyday life. I feel gymnastics gives you that adrenaline rush like no other sport can, it’s scary at times but that’s what I love.
Is there anything you enjoy doing away from sport?
Away from gymnastics I love to stay active. I love to go Golfing as often as I can, also before the lockdown I am a regular at my local CrossFit gym alongside a little bouldering. Next on my list is Snowboarding, I really want to learn that and I know if I set my mind to a challenge, I will complete it. My challenge outside of gymnastics is to try as many sports as possible.
What do you feel you’ve learnt over the years as an elite gymnast so far?
I’ve learnt over the years that you will fail more then you will succeed but it’s how you learn and grow as a person and as an athlete that makes you stronger. The biggest thing I’ve also learned is to enjoy the journey and enjoy the moment that way you will have more fun and look back with no regrets.
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