Whatever Happened to
Kip Simons?

Simons' Competitive Results:

1988 Jr. Pan American Games: 1st AA, 1st FX, 1st PH, 1st R, 1st PB
1993 U.S. National Championships: 10th AA, 5th R
1994 Winter Cup Challenge: 8th AA
1994 NCAA Championships: 3rd T, 3rd AA, 9th V, 4th PB (tie), 7th HB (tie)
1994 U.S. National Championships: 7th AA, 4th FX, 3rd R
1994 USA vs. Romania: 2nd T
1994 Goodwill Games: 3rd T (alternate)
1994 World Team Championships: 9th T
1994 Pacific Alliance Championships: 1st T, 4th AA, 2nd R
1995 U.S. National Championships: 5th AA
1995 World Team Trials: 4th AA
1995 American Cup: 14th AA (prelims)
1995 Pan American Games: 1st T
1995 Budget Invitational: 2nd T, 7th AA
1995 World Championships: 9th T
1995 Subway World Gymnastics Challenge: 11th AA
1995 Atlanta Gymnastics Invitational: 12th AA
1996 USA vs. France: 1st T
1996 U.S. National Championships: 4th AA, 1st R, 2nd PB
1996 U.S. Olympic Trials: 5th AA
1996 Olympics: 5th T


Photo by Matthew Barber

Kip Simons was born in 1972, and named after Kip Keino, an African gold medalist in long distance running at the 1972 Olympics. Following his namesake's famous footsteps, Simons also became an Olympian, albeit not in long distance running, but as a member of the 1996 U.S. Men's Gymnastics team. Ironically, the name 'Kip' is also the name of a gymnastics skill.

Simons served notice to the gymnastics community at the 1998 Junior Pan American Games, winning gold in the AA and four event finals. As an Ohio State Buckeye gymnast from 1990-1994, Simons competed in the NCAA Championships all four seasons, earning All-American honours his final two seasons. Other top honours include Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Team Captain his senior year. At the conclusion of his senior year, Simons was awarded the 1994 Nissen Award (collegiate gymnastics' version of the Heisman Trophy) and subsequently was named Ohio State's 1994 Athlete of the Year.

Following college, Kip gained valuable international experience in the 1994 and 1995 World Championships and 1995 Pan American Games. In 1996, Simons fulfilled his Olympic dream when he earned a spot on the U.S. Men's gymnastics team. In Atlanta, his team placed fifth overall -- the strongest showing for an American men's gymnastics team since 1984.

Following the Olympics, Simons and his teamates enjoyed much fame and attention. A native of Bloomsburg, PA, Simons was honoured with a "Kip Simons Day" Parade. In addition, the town renamed a boulevard "Kip Simons Boulevard" in his honour. Together with teamates from both the U.S. Men's and Women's Gymnastics teams, Simons also performed in the John Hancock Tours of World Gymnastics Champions. Later he competed in a variety of professional competitions, such as ESPN's Battle of the Sexes and the 1999 Reese's Cup (where he was paired with John Macready).

Simons continues to persue a multitude of mediums that incorporate his gymnastic talent. He briefly relocated to New York City, where he worked with ANTIGRAVITY, a dance/acrobatics troupe that has employed such talents as Svetlana Boguinskaia, Kristie Phillips, Wendy Hilliard and Olga Chudina. While in New York, Simons did some commercial and print advertisements, as well as motivational speaking engagements.

In August of 1997, Simons moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to work as the Assistant Gymnastics Coach for the University of Michigan. In his spare time, Simons continues to make numerous guest appearances. This summer he is scheduled to make a coaching appearance at the International Gymnastics Camp, and also perform on several sailings of Norwegian Cruise Line's ship, the Norwegian Wind. Incidentally, these performances will be followed by the return of 1988 Olympian Lance Ringnald, who will reprise his acrobatics in the Norwegian Cruise Line's show, Sea Legs Circus at Sea.

For more information about Kip, please visit his (infrequently updated) official website.

Update (March 11, 2001). Kip is now an assistant coach at the University of California at Berkeley. 

Update (August 21, 2005). Kip has been named Head Coach for the men's gymnastics team at the Air Force Academy (USAFA).

Kip Simons was born in 1972.

1999. This page was created on May 28, 1999 and last updated on August 21, 2005.


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