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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended May 28, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 01Jun00

Summarized by Eileen Bell

Deaf LDS Girl Is World-class Gymnast
Deseret News 23May00 S2
By Clairissa Pett: Deseret News staff writer

OREM, UTAH -- An 17 year old Orem girl is an inspiration to those who feel they face challenges beyond their capabilities. Aimee Walker is a lovely young lady who is climbing the ranks of the gymnastics world. And, she's doing it despite being unable to hear, or to see from one eye.

In her second year at Mountain View High School, Aimee has all the interests of an LDS teen... plus the demands of training up to 35 hours a week for national level gymnastics meets. Her next big competition is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she has high expectations. "I'm ready. The 10 is there."

Aimee is originally from California, but moved to Utah to train with coach Mary Wright. Wright feels strongly about Aimee's potential. "She could easily be one of the top 15 in the country."

Because of her physical limitations, her training has had some differences from those of other gymnasts. Because she can only see with one eye, Aimee has had challenges with her balance... and therefore, with her balance beam performance. She has been able to make big strides in improving there.

Because Aimee can't hear, she faces a challenge keeping with her music during her floor routines. Very simple beats are chosen for her music, and teammates position themselves to help her get started properly, and to let her know during the routine if she's keeping with the beat.


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