A gold medal pedigree has arrived in Manatee County.
Aimee Boorman, a longtime coach for Simone Biles, who won four gold medals and one bronze medal at this summer’s Rio Olympic Games, was announced as the executive director of women’s gymnastics and elite coordinator at Evo Athletics in a press conference Tuesday at the gym, 7188 15th St. E.
“I think my general philosophy is baseline, but I do individualize things to each kid,” Boorman said. “Because some kids actually work better when they’re pushed a little harder. Some kids you need to hold their hand and give them a hug. So you have to learn who your students are. Honestly, I’m sure there are people that have ridiculed me about this, but my overall philosophy is it’s just gymnastics. We’re not curing cancer. Kids will not be gymnasts the rest of their lives, so embrace it and love it while you’re doing it.”
Boorman coached Biles for 11 years at the World Champions Centre in a suburb of Houston. The two, though, have parted ways following the success in Brazil, according to People Magazine.
Boorman said the two still have a good, close relationship, though.
The decision to join the Manatee County gym started many months ago when Evo chief athletics officer and vice president Jason Collins met with her in Houston. That meeting sparked interest from Boorman, but the timing wasn’t right. Then Boorman visited the area in April to see if it was a potential fit, but the focus for the 2016 Summer Olympics remained a high priority.
The dominoes began falling into place for Boorman to make the move to the Sunshine State right before and right after the Rio Games.
Her oldest of three sons, 15-year-old Jamie, was accepted into Sarasota Booker High’s Visual Performing Arts program because of his excellent skills as a pianist. Her husband, James, got a dream job with Waldrop Engineering, which does landscape and golf course design. James previously worked for golf course architect Robert von Hagge, who passed away in 2010, and is the nephew of two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw.
And with the opportunity to join Evo Athletics, which offers gymnastics, cheerleading and Ninja Warrior, Aimee Boorman and her family set out for the Bradenton/Sarasota area.
“This move had to be perfect for everybody,” James Boorman said. “... And it is. Everything about it is great.”
Bringing in a gymnastics coach with the stature of Aimee Boorman raises Evo’s profile, too, Evo chief executive officer Kyle Lawton said.
“It’s hard to comprehend maybe how big it is,” Lawton said. “I think we’re kind of feeling our way through it at this point. It’s kind of a dream scenario.”
While the future possibility of Biles making a cameo appearance at the Manatee County gym to impart her own experiences to aspiring competitive gymnasts hasn’t been discussed yet, Boorman said she’s sure they’ll discuss that in the future.
Boorman also detailed some experiences in Rio and how they didn’t know of any controversies happening around them.
“When you’re in the Olympic Village, you’re in a bubble,” she told the Bradenton Herald. “And we’d get on our transportation, we’d go to training, we’d come home. We’d go to competition, we’d come home. And you’re just with all the athletes in the dining hall. There’s no TV that we’re watching. So the only time we heard about the outside stuff was when we were in press conferences.”
Boorman also said the Zika virus wasn’t a concern.
“I think I saw three mosquitoes and I might have got bit twice,” Boorman said. “I’m done having kids, so I’m not worried.”