Aimee Boorman is a Gymnastics Coach from Chicago, USA and is coach to one of the greatest female gymnasts to have ever lived. Aimee has coached Simone Biles since she was a child and their successful partnership over the years resulted in Simone winning 4 Golds and a Bronze Medal at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. If you haven’t seen Simone in action, take a look at her floor routine from Rio…
As well as this, Aimee was the Head Coach for Team USA at Rio alongside Team Coordinator Marta Karolyi. As Marta’s last Olympic Games as Coach, the Team were nicknamed ‘The Final Five’ who, thanks to the guidance of Aimee and Marta, collectively brought home 9 Olympic Medals.
Since the Games, Aimee has taken up her next coaching challenge as she has moved to coach at a new Gymnastics club in Florida. During her recent move, Aimee kindly took the time to answer some of our questions…
With the Rio Olympic Games coming to an end a couple of months ago – what are your thoughts and feelings looking back on the outstanding performances by your Team USA?
Is there one particular moment, event or performance that sticks out for you and why?
Probably seeing the pure joy and emotion in Simone’s eyes when she was the official winner of the Olympic Gold Medal in the All-Around competition. It was in that moment that Simone realized that all of her sacrifices had been worth it.
As Head Coach of the USA Team, can you explain your role during the Games and what differences are / were there between your role as Head Coach and Martha Krolyi’s role as Team Coordinator?
As the head coach, I was expected to keep the girls on track during competition, including making sure that the equipment was set correctly, and to keep their heads in the game. Apart from the competition floor, I tried to be a mentor and an friend for the girls to express their needs, concerns and feelings to help them perform better.
It’s fair to say that you are most known as the coach of the incredible gymnast Simone Biles who took 4 golds and a bronze in Rio. When you look back on the journey you and Simone have been on – taking her from a 7 year old brand new to gymnastics, to a 19 year old 4 time Olympic Gold medalist, how does it make you feel about what you as a Coach has achieved?
Simone is such a hugely talented athlete, do you think she would be as successful an athlete in any other sport (if so, which sport) or is she particularly suited to gymnastics?
What would you say has been the secret to yours and Simone’s success as a coach-athlete team?
I have treated Simone the same as all of my other athletes. It’s about respect. I respect my athletes for their dedication and their sacrifices and it return their respect for me is returned ten-fold. Since Simone and I have been a duo for 11 years, we obviously have grown a deeper bond of trust and camaraderie.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in the last few years of coaching someone to Olympic Glory and what pieces of advice would you give to other female coaches wanting to emulate your success?
There are two things that I have preached to myself & others over the past few years m. #1 ?It’s just gymnastics. We are not curing cancer and saving lives here. This is a sport and it teaches great life lessons, but we need to look past the sport and see what kind of humans we are raising.
You have recently accepted a new role in Florida and will be leaving the gymnastic club behind in which you and Simone developed your history making partnership – how hard is it from your point of view to walk away from athletes that you have coached for so long and see grow up and develop not only as athletes, but also as people.
As a coach, you know that your athletes will always move on from you. It could be because they choose to do something besides gymnastics, or they stay with you their whole career and then you send them off to college. Either way, life moves one. I am thrilled with my move to Florida. It has been an amazing opportunity. Everyone needs to make changes in their lives. Change is about growth and it was important to me that I continued to grow. I miss seeing Simone everyday, but we are still in contact and she knows that I will always be here for her, in all aspect of her life. If she chooses to continue in gymnastics I will always be willing to coach her. But, for right now, I am thrilled to see the positive impact that she is having not only in the sport, but also in the world as we know it.
Will you be aiming to be Head Coach again for Tokyo 2020?