I serve the citizens of Tulsa County, Okla., as the elected district judge. I was shocked by the decision of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association to drop boys’ gymnastics as a recognized high school competitive sport. I was a high school gymnast from 1974 to 1977, and was the Massachusetts state champion on the still rings and a member of the Boston Globe All-Scholastic Gymnastics team in 1977. I was honored to compete in the ’70s with Peter Kormann, Tim Daggett, and Rich Ellis, who were mentioned in your article (“Boys’ gymnastics dropped by MIAA,” Jan. 24). More important, I was heavily influenced by men like my gymnastics coach, Rich Hayes, who, other than my family, has had the greatest impact on my life and who I am today.
Gymnastics is not about a winning season or how many kids participate or even how many spectators pay money to support the sport; it’s about the gymnasts themselves and the life lessons that are learned. It’s about the great coaches, judges, colleagues, and families who taught us values such as discipline, delayed gratification, goal-setting, and personal achievement.