Five years after she won the gold medal in Beijing at 16, and a year after taking the silver in London, He Kexin retired from the sport of gymnastics.
The 21-year-old gymnast, who has been the uneven bars pinch hitter for the Chinese women said last year that she would retire after this year's Chinese National Games.
Over the past several years, Kexin has been dealing with growing pains of a little girl turning into a young woman. In Beijing, she and the rest of the Chinese team were accused of bringing in underage gymnasts to the event, which prompted the FIG to open an investigation that worked out in their favor. She famously tied with Nastia Liukin at the Beijing Olympics, but won the gold medal in a tie-breaker.
Kexin became a world champion on the uneven bars in 2009. After that, she struggled to adjust to her new adult body and struggled to maintain her high start values. In 2012, Kexin became a second time Olympian after being named to the Chinese team going to the London Olympics. The team finished a disappointing fourth in the team final. After qualifying to the uneven bars final in second place, Kexin took home the silver medal behind Aliya Mustafina with a 15.933.
At the Chinese National Games, Kexin appeared for her final bars performance in a white and nude leotard that gave her a swan like appearance. She started off strong, performing her signature Jaeger half to in bar Jaeger combination. But on her Pak salto to low bar, she over arched her back on her cast to handstand half turn and fell off the bars. She finished strong, sticking her full in dismount. After she'd saluted to the judges, she stood, took a bow and waved to the crowd.