Simone’s first week at the Ranch

It was 2011, when Simone was 13.

Aimee Boorman: When Simone became a Level 10 [the highest level before elite], we started talking about her becoming an elite. But when we first submitted videos to get her into [USA Gymnastics] developmental camp, the national team staff declined our request. We were told, no, she’s not ready, even though she had all of these skills, because her uneven bars skills were too weak. So when we did get an invitation to camp, we were very excited and we tried to showcase what Simone was good at.

Nellie Biles: I thought attending this first camp was the turning point for Simone in her career, so I was very excited.

Boorman: Simone was praised by the [national team] coaches about what a great job she had done. Then Martha just railed at her, said she wasn’t working hard enough and that she wasn’t good enough. Simone was devastated …

Boorman: The next camp was only three weeks away, so I talked to Simone and her parents. I never made any decisions without involving her and her parents. I think if she had the same experience at that next developmental camp with Martha, it would have broken her. It may not have taken her love out of gymnastics, but it would’ve made her not want to go back to the Ranch. We decided to decline the next camp. When we did, we weren’t invited back [by Martha] for more than a year. …

How Simone Biles found her voice and changed gymnastics culture

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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