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‘Tom Forster Has Been The High-Performance Director For The Women’s Gymnastics Team’
(4 votes, average 4.75 out of 5)

Tom Forster has been working for a full year and attempting to improve the women’s elite program.

The women’s team has won three Olympic Games: 1996 in Atlanta, 2012 in London and 2016 in Rio.

The women’s gymnastics team has also won gold medals at six World Championships: 2003 in Anaheim, 2007 in Stuttgart, 2011 in Tokyo, 2014 in Nanning, 2015 in Glasgow and 2018 in Doha. The 2018 Worlds were under Forster’s tutelage.

Forster, who was born in Wichita, Kansas, is one of the best uneven bars coaches in the United States, if not the entire world. He takes a more humbled approach to the gymnasts he is currently coaching, whereas Marta Karolyi was rather stern.

He is CEO and owner of Aerials Gymnastics in Colorado Springs, and Co-Owner of Uneven Bar Boot Camp. His wife, Lori, majored in dance at the University of Northern Colorado, and she choreographs all of the women’s floor routines at Aerials.

Lori Bresciani and Tom Forster have been married for 38 years, so let’s hear from him now…

IG: How many times per year do you go to the EVO gym in Florida?

TF: Between the national team camps and selection camps we meet between five and six times a year.

IG: Who handles the junior team, or do you also invite them?

TF: The High Performance Team Coordinator is responsible for both divisions. Both juniors and seniors come to every national team camp. I have the ability to invite more athletes than just those officially on the national team which I do depending on the time of year and what events we are preparing for.

IG: Are there strictly test skills every now and then, or is it a hybrid of gymnastics training too?

TF: It has long been established as a successful model to instill in our athletes that two things occur at every camp: 1) The athletes are scored and awards given for Physical Ability testing which encompasses strength and flexibility exercises. 2) They are required to officially verify something at every camp. Depending on the time of year it would range from a full routine to a new skill.

IG: What do you think of Simone Biles?

TF: I first met Simone when she was invited to the Development Camps many years ago. I was the staff member responsible for bars. Simone didn’t appear to enjoy bars at that time. I remember watching her vault and thought to myself, “She can do anything she wants on that event.” She was unbelievable.

Not too long after those years Simone has become the greatest of all time in women’s gymnastics. She is determined and a tenacious competitor. Simone has the rare combination of having tremendous natural talent, excellent technique and the determination to do the work required to be the best every time she steps on the podium.

She is an inspiration and has raised the level of gymnastics in our country more than anyone in our history. I’m truly grateful to be part of her journey and thankful for all she gives to our wonderful sport.

Read the complete interview in the 2019 July/August of International Gymnast.

To subscribe to the print and/or digital edition, or to order back issues of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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