Nino Marion is one of the finest gymnasts the Windsor-Essex region has ever produced. He enjoyed a successful career as a scholarship athlete at the University of Michigan and represented Canada in international competition during the 1950s and ’60s.
Born in Windsor, Marion graduated from W. D. Lowe Technical School, where he was first introduced to the sport of gymnastics by the renowned coach and honoured Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame member Bernard Newman. Buoyed by Newman’s coaching, Marion took to the sport immediately. He became the preeminent local high school gymnast of the 1950s.
Marion’s eye-catching performances as a high school gymnast earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan. He continued to impress as he competed for the Wolverines from 1956 to ’59.
During his time in Ann Arbor, Marion earned several top-six finishes at the NCAA Championships. He lettered three times and was named an NCAA All-American for the still rings. Before his collegiate career came to a close, was voted the Wolverines’ Team MVP.
While at Michigan and during the years that followed, Marion competed in several Canadian National Championships. He finished as National Champion Runner-Up on four occasions. After graduation, Marion began to compete on the international gymnastics circuit. He represented Canada twice at the Pan American Games: in Chicago in 1959 – where he won a bronze medal in the still rings – and in Sao Paolo, Brazil in ’63.
When his competitive days drew to a close, Marino continued to remain deeply entrenched in the sport of gymnastics. He spent the next three decades as a coach, administrator, and mentor to hundreds of local athletes, teaching them what he had learned from the likes of Bernie Newman while helping organize and coordinate meets across the city.