Flipping Around with Murun Jamiyankhuu


Murun Jamiyankhuu

Murun Jamiyankhuu doing his pommel horse routine.

By Mateo Acosta, Staff Writer

In a school filled with people of different backgrounds, interests, and stories, sophomore Murun Jamiyankhuu undoubtedly has one of the most interesting, to say the least. Whether you find him flipping in the gym, or in the city of Chicago capturing breathtaking photos out of daily life, Jamiyankhuu’s current life will make you wonder, what was I doing at 16?

Born in Mongolia, Jamiyankhuu moved to Chicago in 2007 when he was only five years old. After about six months of being in the U.S., he began gymnastics after seeing his brother compete. He was fascinated and wanted to follow in his steps.

“At first, it was the usual recreational class then I became a part of the club at Lakeshore Academy and grew and grew slowly,” Jamiyankhuu said.

As time went on, gymnastics began to play a bigger and bigger role in his life, and he put more time into the sport. He was then able to see the benefits of his hard work when he placed eighth in the nation in 2016.

Despite the countless accolades and awards, Jamiyankhuu believes gymnastics isn’t just a sport.

“I really value the countless friendships and memories I’ve made because of gymnastics,” Jamiyankhuu said.

Senior Ricky Zheng has only positive things to say about their relationship.

“We met through gymnastics, and he was a really good gymnast that I thought would make a good friend. He’s just a goofy, funny, and chill person and I’m lucky that we have a close bond,” Zheng said.

Senior Jack Nguyen met him at one of his brother’s meets, and they’ve been friends ever since.

“It was my freshman year, and he was a cool kid. He was only in the seventh grade, so I knew he was a little immature, but as time went on and I got to know him, he’s just a funny kid,” Nguyen said.

His brother set a high bar having helped the 2016 Wolves to a state title, but for Jamiyankhuu, he uses it as more motivation for himself.

“I don’t think of it as trying to fill my brother’s shoes, but as trying to create a legacy for myself and to be even better than my brother was his senior year but as a sophomore,” Jamiyankhuu said.

Last year, West missed out on having him on the gymnastics team because he believed club may have been more important, but this year, he plans to participate at West.

“After listening to Coach Batista talk about the number of doors and opportunities school gymnastics opens, I wanted to try it. We also have a great chance at winning state this year. Our team is more than capable to go to state, and hopefully, we can win it,” Jamiyankhuu said.

For him, gymnastics plays a giant role in his life but he also loves to spend his time taking photos when he is not in the gym.

“I started photography because it is a good life skill and my brother was starting, and as the younger brother, I wanted to try it too,” Jamiyankhuu said. “When I first started, it was about capturing the most beautiful and perfect photo one could take, but photography is not just taking the photo. One part is knowing how to take the photo, but the other is knowing how to edit. Knowing how to tweak it to your liking to bring out the eye-catching features in the story,” Jamiyankhuu said.

Murun Jamiyankhuu
Jamiyankhuu’s favorite photo.

When he takes his photos, the process is long and time-consuming, but in the end, it is all worth it, and Jamiyankhuu’s favorite photo has a story of its own.

“This [right] has to be my favorite photo because of the story it tells. It’s calm, the birds flying from one place to another, with the sun captured perfectly between the railings, and the stillness of the water, it just all captures how calm that morning sunrise was,” Jamiyankhuu said.

Jamiyankhuu recalled all the work it took to get the perfect picture.

“How I caught the photo was cool,” he said. “I saw it in the corner of my eye, and I ran to get the photograph and the water splashed all my legs but I didn’t care because I was trying to get the photo. I had a Starbucks coffee in my hand and I tried not to drop it while spamming the shutter button hoping that I got the right one.”