From the Bar to Berkeley

Gymnast phenom Noah Sano is ready to take it to the collegiate level.



Sano shows his upper body strength on the pommel horse in the 2018 Southern California State Championships.

By Devin Tse

Energetic since his childhood, gymnastics was the ideal sport for Noah Sano.

Taking his inspiration from his parents and older siblings, Sano has been highly motivated to become a stellar gymnast. Throughout his short career, his accolades drove him to compete with the best in country and now has offered him a chance to perform at the collegiate level.

For Sano, competing in a total of nine events force him to be an overall gymnast, requiring different skills and strengths to execute his routines.

Each competition event is graded on an “A-I” difficulty scale with the higher letter representing greater difficulty. In terms of Sano’s strengths, he excels on the pommel horse and still rings due to his upper body strength.

His signature move for the Still Rings event would be the “Azarian” which is weighted as a “D” level move. When executing the “Azarian” Sano uses his upper body strength to perform multiple flips while holding on to the rings. On the pommel horse, his highest personal score would be a “F” level move for performing the “Busnari”, where his legs go 360 degrees around the pommel horse.

His training regimens prioritizes his upper body, which makes his legs vulnerable. The weakness in his legs causes Sano to underachieve in the floor exercises and vault.

“Increasing my leg strength and practicing more in my weaker events is key for me,” Sano said.

After competing in the Junior Olympics three times, and being awarded as the Southern California State Champion for pommel horse from 2015-2017, Sano received an offer, along with several other team members to train with the Hungarian Men’s National Gymnastics Team, travelling to Hungary during the summer of 2017.

Noah Sano performing gymnastics
Noah Sano performs on the parallel bars.

“Practicing with professional and even Olympian gymnasts was a life changing experience for my entire team,” he said.

Recently, he has garnered interest from college recruiters, receiving scholarship offers from the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska and UC Berkeley. On Nov 14, Sano officially committed to UC Berkeley, ultimately drawn to the academic and gymnastics opportunities the school offers. He believes UC Berkeley is his ideal fit.

Sano getting accepted by Berkeley
Noah Sano earns a scholarship from UC Berkeley.

“Since my brother was the former captain of the UC Berkeley Gymnastics Team and I want to pursue my major in business, it is the perfect situation for my future,” Sano said.

With his collegiate career drawing closer, Sano’s expectations are soaring as well. He is striving to compete at the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships and hopes to place first in any of the events.

“I am thankful for the support from my family, coaches, and friends. I am excited for this new chapter in my career,” Sano said.