MILWAUKEE — Continuing our series on Olympic hopefuls, Milwaukee's Marvin Kimble has inspired a whole new generation, all while taking one more last shot at making Team USA.
"Looking back at it? It was a blessing," Marvin Kimble says. "Unexpected. Overcame this predominantly white sport. And excelled to the world championship team. Multiple times."
Milwaukee's Marvin Kimble hasn't had an easy gymnastics road.
"Lots of arguments with my coach," Kimble says. "Getting kicked out of practices. One thing I'll say is like I stayed true to the grind. I stayed true to wanting to be a winner. Stayed true to the sport, because I didn't want to be named as a quitter."
With hateful letters sent to his gym.
Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "When people would either write to the gym, or say ah, you're not any good?"
"It motivated me. It motivated me!" Kimble says with a laugh. "Just because like, who you think you're talking to? No, you know, like, don't disrespect, so it made me work harder. So, I'm glad that you sent those letters. You know who you are!"
And has blazed a trail.
"Recently went to the state meet. And I'm starting to see more and more African-American kids, so I'm hoping that I am the influence in that."
But now at 25 years of age, it's Marvin's last shot at Olympic glory.
"This is the last go-around, yeah," Kimble admits.
Lance Allan: "When your name comes up? People go well, you know, he's maybe a little bit of a long shot. But at least he's got a shot. Are you comfortable with that? Do you like being the underdog?"
"I love that! I love that, because I've been the underdog my whole life. So when I was younger, I actually remember, I got 74th at my first nationals. And went home crying, and basically counted myself out. And then I just kept getting better and better and better and better," Kimble says.
To try and keep up with this gymnast dynamo is impossible.
Lance Allan: "You ever do an interview with a reporter trying to do what you do?"
"I'm excited. I love it. I was trying to see how long you could last!" Kimble says.
Lance Allan: "I don't think it's going to be long. You're doing better tricks than me!"
"I'll just keep going around," Kimble says.
Lance Allan: "I can't even do a proper L. What would you grade this as?"
"This is a 10.0. That is a, 5.2 maybe?" Kimble says.
Now, he just has to show out.
"I just need to keep my body healthy, is the most [important] thing. Like, I got little nagging injuries here and there. Once I get to 100 percent, then, even if I get to 80 percent, you know, I feel comfortable enough to go out there and do my job," Kimble says.
With his dream still alive.
"I see myself being an Olympic medalist, on one of the events that I compete. Or if not the all-around, or if not the team, why not the team, you know? Kimble says.
The U.S. Gymnastics Championships are June 3 through the 6. The U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials are June 24 through the 27. We wish Marvin well in a couple of months.