Former elite gymnast Aimee Walker Pond encourages teens to ‘never give up’
An elite gymnast and former Bruin joined Mountain View High School’s student body on Thursday for an assembly on suicide awareness.
As a part of the school’s Hope Week — a regular event held to help students realize there are options available if they are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts — Aimee Walker Pond spoke about the challenges and setbacks she had to overcome to be successful.
Born deaf and blind in one eye, Pond was originally turned away from gymnastics class because the studio didn’t have a coach who signed.
An alumnus of Mountain View High School, Aimee Walker Pond returned there March 3 to speak to the students during Hope Week. At this event, kids are encouraged to get reach out if they are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts and reassured that they are loved and others are wanting to help them.
Aimee was born deaf and blind in one eye, and shared her story of becoming an elite gymnast. No studio would agree to teach her as a child, so she eased into a class through the back door, pretending, for a short time, to be her cousin. The coach figured out pretty quickly Aimee was deaf and made a deal that she would teach Aimee gymnastics if Aimee would teach her sign language. Aimee took the deal and never looked back...
'No Excuses' tells gymnast Aimee Walker-Pond's story of faith, success despite trials
When Aimee Walker-Pond was 7, her cousins were in gymnastics classes, and she wanted to do gymnastics too. But there is a vital difference between Walker-Pond and her cousins: She is deaf and blind in one eye.
Walker-Pond didn’t let that stop her, and she excelled from the beginning, training with world-renowned coaches and competing with acclaimed teams, including UCLA and Brigham Young University...
Half-blind and deaf, former BYU gymnast breaks down barriers
Imagine balancing on something four inches wide, four feet in the air. Next, imagine doing backflips, runs, jumps, turns and splits while maintaining your balance. Heart pounding, crowd roaring and chalk-covered hands eventually gives way to intense focus, muscle memory and calm assurance. Finally, imagine doing all this while being deaf and half blind...
A Gymnastics Champion Who Happens to be Deaf and Blind in One Eye
Aimee Walker Pond has done it all – competed and won medals as an International Elite gymnast, a National Level 10 gymnast and as a collegiate competitor, appeared on TV and in a movie, all while being totally deaf and blind in one eye. Her story is compelling and inspirational and we should all be saying to ourselves, “What am I complaining about?”
BYU gymnast deftly—and deafly—tackles the uneven bars.
When she was 7, Aimee Walker (’08) decided to be a gymnast. After watching her cousins compete one day, she asked her mom, “Can I do it? It looks really easy, and I do flips on the couch all the time.” Her mother agreed and called the gym.
Yes, they were accepting new students. Yes, they had classes for 7-year-olds. Then Aimee’s mom said, “Oh, she’s deaf, and she’s blind in one eye. Is that a problem?” Yes, it was. No one at the gym knew sign language, and they had to turn her down.
Two weeks later, one of Aimee’s cousins broke a leg, and Aimee’s aunt offered Aimee the prepaid spot in the gymnastics class. “Just don’t tell them you’re deaf,” her aunt reasoned. And don’t sign, added her mom. Aimee admits, “That was really hard, because I like to talk a lot.”
She was a natural. The first day of class went perfectly, until someone tapped Aimee...
No limitations: BYU gymnast Pond overcomes deafness and limited sight to reach top levels
PROVO — More than 1,000 fans packed the Smith Fieldhouse to support Brigham Young University's gymnastics team as it competed against No. 10 Oregon State and Utah State last month.
Their cheers could be heard from the sidewalk as each Cougar competed.
One of the highlights of the night was junior Aimee Walker Pond on the uneven bars. She delivered a solid routine and stuck her landing flawlessly. The performance earned a 9.825, a new career high for Pond.
She turned toward the stands, but the crowd was silent...
Deaf gymnast's journey to compete for BYU, UCLA inspires others
SANDY — Aimee Walker Pond isn't one to let excuses get in her way.
The former Brigham Young University gymnast rose to the level of international elite, was recruited by the best collegiate gymnastics programs in the country and even made an appearance on "Baywatch" with David Hasselhoff, all despite being completely deaf and blind in one eye. The road to her achievements is shared in the recently released book "No Excuses: The story of elite gymnast Aimee Walker Pond."
"No person with comparable disabilities has ever achieved the level of success that she has experienced in gymnastics," said author Adam Kempler. "That's in the history of the sport. I don't mean just right now, or
Deaf gymnast encourages BYU students to ‘love who you are’
Olympic gymnast Aimee Walker-Pond has been passionate about gymnastics ever since she was a little girl.
There is something that makes Walker-Pond unique in the gymnastics world: she is blind in one eye and deaf.
Walker-Pond has been facing challenges since the day she was born — from having the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck three times to needing braces as an infant because her hip sockets weren’t developed. Even walking normally was expected to be nearly impossible.
Walker-Pond shared her life struggles and what she did to overcome adversity with the
Aimee Walker, 15, Has Overcome Deafness, Vision Problem to Reach Top Rung of Sport
Amid the clutter of bars, beams, mats and trampolines, she danced. Her lean body tumbled effortlessly across the floor, displaying her power, stamina and flexibility.
Hal Halvorson, head coach and program director for Golden State Gymnastics in Burbank, was asked who the girl was.
"That's Aimee Walker," he said. "She's at Level 10 and I am taking her to Kazakhstan in two weeks for a meet. She's deaf and blind in [her right] eye. Isn't she great?"
Aimee Walker, 15, of North Hollywood will be the only American competitor at the Nelli Kim Cup, an international meet held in Kazakhstan on Sept. 8-10. It will be her first international meet outside the U.S...
Van Nuys — When Aimee Walker showed up at a Van Nuys gymnastics club, coach Fritz Reiter almost turned her away. Reiter thought she mgiht get hurt because she was blind in one eye and had been deaf since birth.
But he didn't count on the charm factor. Four years later, Aimee, now 13, is one of the leading gymnasts at Gymnastics Olympica USA. She's own top honors for her floor routnien on the club circuit- a league one notch below the elites.
Moreover, she's thoroughly trimuphed over Reiter's reservations. Reiter's early decision that he "didn't want to get involved" has given way to a firm resolve to each Aimee. He's even worked up his own system of talking to her using gestures and the sign- language alphabet of his native Austria.
This conversion owes much to Aimee's enthusiasm, not to mention her wickedly funny grin...
If you knew that Aimee Walker was a gymnastics champ, you’d probably say that was pretty cool. If you knew that Aimee was born completely deaf, and blind in one eye, you’d probably be even more impressed. And rightly so. In fact, if Aimee’s cousin hadn’t broken her foot several years ago and offered to let Aimee take her place in a gymnastics class, she might not have discovered the sport she loves the most.