Athlete: Timothy Gould, Age 15
Parents: Jim and Ruthie Gould | Coach: Nicholas Minney, NASA Gymnastics
A Level 9 National Champion in 2015, Timothy will be competing at Level 10 this upcoming season; he started officially competing only two years ago!
1) How many hours a day do you practice?
Most of the time I practice two hours a day, but occasionally we have longer practices. I also spend additional time doing strength training with Coach Nick.
2) Which events do you compete in?
Last year, I competed in trampoline, double mini-trampoline and synchronized trampoline (synchro). It was very exciting to find out that I had hit the score to be able to go! At Nationals, I was competing against about 10 others on trampoline and double mini. Synchro was different as there was one other pair of partners.
3) What was it like to prepare for Nationals?
To be able to participate at Nationals you have to hit a certain score, depending upon your level. You must hit this score for each event that you want to compete in. I was so excited for weeks when I found out I was going to compete at Nationals! I couldn’t believe that I was going when the year before I had no idea what Nationals was all about! I was ecstatic!
4) What did it feel like to compete at Nationals?
I felt sick to my stomach—in a good way! It was so weird going into the building, seeing how big it was and a bit scary. All I could think of was getting it over with and trying to do my best. I tried to think of it as “just another meet” and do it—not to win, not for myself, not even for my coach (although that was part of it)—but to do it for God—do it to glorify Him. Everything I do, I want to do it to praise God, and this was my chance. I wanted to win for Jesus!
5) Tell us more about your background story.
When I was seven years old, I had a stroke and had to be airlifted … and was in the hospital for over a week. The doctors were never able to find out why, but I was not allowed to be on a trampoline or do heavy sports. Being the really active one who was always on the trampoline and doing handstands, I hated it! It was so hard to watch everyone else jumping around and not be allowed to join in. Gradually, I was allowed to begin doing more.
None of this would have been possible without my parents. They have paid for everything and supported me through it all. At one point, I wanted to give up the event of tumbling as it was my weakest event. Well, Mom wouldn’t have that! She said, “Well, if you’re not that good at it, and you quit, how will you learn and improve?” At the time I didn’t like it, but as I continued to work at it, I started to love tumbling! I have improved and am working on mobilizing to level 8.
My coaches have encouraged me through everything. . . If I said, “Oh, no!” to a new skill, they said, “Oh, YES!” They pushed me to get better until I was able to nail it. Above all, I owe it all to God! He was there through my stroke and all my troubles. It all comes down to Him. He is our Creator, the one who gave me this gift. Without Him, none of this would be possible.
6) What are your future goals?
I would love to go as far as I can with [my current events]. Goals? Well, I really am setting my eyes on the Olympics! No matter how far I go in the sport, I definitely want to keep coaching younger athletes like I am doing now.