Nedoroscik Wins USA's First World Title on Pommel Horse

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State men's gymnastics legend Stephen Nedoroscik is a pommel horse world champion! In fact, he's the first ever world champion on pommel horse from the U.S.
Nedoroscik scored 15.266 in the final of the World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan, early Saturday morning to secure the gold medal by more than three-tenths of a point over silver medalists Weng Hao of China and Kaya Kazuma of Japan. The strong final routine came after he qualified second with a score of 15.366.
"We're so excited for Stephen and the Penn State family on bringing home the world title in Kitakyushu, Japan," Penn State head coach Randy Jepson said. "It was a great effort. He had really terrible preparation in terms of illness and travel but qualified second on the first day and then climbed the ladder to get the gold. We are really thrilled for him."
Nedoroscik, who was competing at his first World Championships, is the first ever World medalist from the Penn State program. But, as Jepson mentioned, he almost didn't even get the opportunity.
"It was a really rough journey getting here. They lost our passports and I was sick as a dog," Nedoroscik said. "It's the sickest I've ever been. I left four days after everyone else did and missed podium training. Despite all those odds I was able to hit both routines."
On top of that, Nedoroscik's signature goggles were left at home. While he was almost unrecognizable to some without the look he is so well known for, the beauty of the routine was unmistakable. It was one perfected with hours upon hours of work over the past five yeats at Penn State's Gene Wettstone Gymnastics Complex. His training is still done on that pommel horse today.
Nedoroscik and Jepson won't return from Japan until Tuesday, giving the newly crowned champion plenty of time to soak in the unprecedented feat for both the U.S. and Penn State program.
"Honestly, when you're competing you kind of just zone out. I don't even know if I have snapped out of that zone yet," said Nedoroscik while celebrating his win Saturday in Japan. "I don't know if I completely grasp how big this accomplishment is yet. I'm still just kind of on cloud nine."
Nedoroscik just keeps adding honors to his already illustrious career. He can add his World title to his U.S. championship and two collegiate national titles he earned while competing for the Nittany Lions from 2017-20.