Aimee Walker Pond
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Aimee Patricia Walker Pond (born March 10, 1983) is a United States gymnast. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Pond has been involved in gymnastics since the age of eight. She is completely deaf and is blind in her right eye, making her one of a very few disabled gymnasts who have competed at the national level (another is Marie Roethlisberger). Some have compared her to Helen Keller to which Pond has responded "She's so wonderful, but I am glad I'm not Helen Keller, I'm so lucky- I have my one eye."
Born Aimee Patricia Walker in Tarzana, California, Pond is her married name.
When Pond was seven years old, she watched her cousins practicing at a gymnastics center, and asked her mother if she could take classes with them. The trainer rejected Pond because of her deafness, stating that she would not know how to communicate with or coach a deaf gymnast.[unreliable source?] At age eight, her mother enrolled her in classes, instructing her not to use sign language in front of anyone. After the coach noticed Pond did not respond when spoken to, she talked to Pond's mother and said she would like Pond to be on the team.
Pond is a Latter-day Saint. She graduated from Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah. She had transferred there from California to be near her coach Mary Wright, and her parents lived in Valley Village, California at that time.
Pond began her college career as a gymnast at the University of California, Los Angeles. She transferred to BYU in 2005, redshirted a year, and then competed in 2006 and 2007. Walker did not compete in 2008 due to a shoulder injury.
Aimee Walker Pond has competed at the national and international level in addition to her collegiate experiences. At the Junior Olympic National Championships in 1999, she placed 19th overall with event placements of 6th on floor and 9th on bars. Her career high scores are a 9.715 on vault, earned February 2, 2006, and a 9.825 on bars, earned March 9, 2007. She did not compete during the 2008 season due to a shoulder injury.
At age 14, Pond had a role in the movie Little Girls in Pretty Boxes. Today she enjoys hiking, basketball, and spending time with her family, including her husband Derek Pond. She hopes to coach gymnastics and especially wishes to inspire other deaf gymnasts to succeed at advanced levels.
- Deseret News, April 12, 2007
- "Deaf Gymnast Aimee Walker Pond". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "BYU Gymnast competes while deaf and blind in one eye". YouTube. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- she actually took the space of a cousin who had been injured
- UCLA player bio for Aimee Walker
- "All-Time Roster - The Official Site of BYU Athletics". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
- "add for sign and sing DVD". Retrieved 5 October 2014.