Women's High-Performance Coordinator, USA Gymnastics
Local Board Member, Colorado
USA Gymnastics is turning to Tom Forster to help plot a way forward in the wake of the scandal against a former disgraced national team doctor that has rocked one of the crown jewels of the U.S. Olympic movement.
The organization named Forster as the high-performance director for the U.S. Women’s National Team on Thursday. Forster is tasked with developing a strategic plan and training program for all national team members.
USA Gymnastics president Kerry Perry called Forster, who owns Colorado Aerials in Colorado Springs, Colo., the right fit because his philosophy “mirrors our priorities.”
Forster says his priorities at USA Gymnastics are to create an atmosphere that focuses on open communication and provides the athletes the right to speak about issues and concerns that they have. He stressed they will be given an avenue to do so anonymously and without threat of retaliation.
“The whole purpose of coordinator’s job is to support them in their quest and for their dream,” Forster said. “That’s their role. That’s their sole purpose. The role is solely about leadership. I believe I’m a positive leader.”
Forster has been a member of the elite development national staff since 2010 and became the interim elite development program director in February 2018. The new “high-performance director” position replaces the role of national team coordinator, a position formerly held by Martha Karolyi – who retired in 2016 – and Valeri Liukin, who stepped down over the winter.
Forster views himself as a collaborator, stressing it’s his job to “get everybody working together.”