Feb. 23, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior gymnast Cameron Foreman has been a member of two national title teams on The Farm and became an All-American last season, finishing third at the NCAA event finals on parallel bars. The Iowa City, Iowa native sat down to discuss stepping into a leadership role, his new appreciation for his parents and why he would like to switch places with coach Thom Glielmi for a day.
How has your role changed from last season?
"I really looked forward to stepping into a leadership role this year. Coming in as a freshman, the class ahead of me was an all-star class and last season the younger guys were filling spots to complement the seniors. We had a few events we contributed in but this year I'm able to compete in more events and show what I'm capable of. I'm really close with my other three seniors and we were looking forward to taking charge of the team and showing that we were still a very strong team without all the amazing gymnasts from last year."
In a Q&A from a few years ago, you said that if you could switch places with anyone for a day it would be head coach Thom Glielmi. What role have your coaches played in your gymnastics career?
"Stepping into this program was quite an awakening, it was a drastic change from what I was used to. I was very close with my coach (Brad Virkler) who I had worked with since I was seven and there was a lot of give and take between us. Brad really instilled in me a love for gymnastics and that has been key to my success. Under Thom, things are very organized, the schedule is completely laid out for the year and all gymnasts are treated equally, which is the best way for the team. When I got here my body wasn't used to the amount of training and routines that we were doing and I was a little run down and it was a lot to handle. It was during that time that I answered that Q&A, and it was a nice way to think of having the power for one day."
How did you get to Stanford?
"I knew I wanted to go to Stanford about five years before I actually got here. I don't know how the idea came about, I think I probably looked at the schools with the highest level of academics that had gymnastics programs and Stanford really stood apart academically. Growing up as a junior gymnast I wasn't a top-5 gymnast in the country and it was more my desire to come here than being recruited by Thom. I made a video of all six events and sent it out to a lot of teams. Thom told me he would love to have me, but it didn't sound like he was ready to bend over backwards to get me here. I had always worked hard as a student and once I knew I had been accepted I knew this was the place for me."
How has your relationship with your parents changed over the years?
"Last month I worked the Stanford Open junior sessions and it really gave me a different perspective on things; a lot of it was terribly boring. Watching little kids perform and fall over and over wasn't something a lot of people would enjoy watching over and over again. It gave me a new appreciation for the countless hours that my parents spent driving me to and from practice, driving to competitions that were eight or ten hours away or even flying to meets. I really respect that they were able to stick with it and see me through to where I am today. Once I got to Stanford, instead of gymnastics being sort of a burden on them it has been something that has brought us together. While I haven't been able to make it home as much as I'd like because of gymnastics, it's become an opportunity for my parents to come out and support me or watch me on the live broadcast online. It's brought us closer even though I'm so far away."
What do you enjoy when you're not thinking about school and gymnastics?
"Time management is a constant struggle as it probably is for the majority of students at Stanford. I try to make more out of every day more than just surviving it. It's been easy to go day-to-day and see it as task after task that I have to complete but I've made it my goal to not live that way; it's not what I want out of my college experience. It's been really helpful having John Martin, Gabriel Alvarado and Jordan Nolff, my three senior classmates and also Paul Hichwa who's sort of our honorary senior. We try to take advantage of the opportunities we have to do things off-campus. We've taken trips around California where we all pile into a car and go explore. That's something I've really enjoyed about California, the opportunity to do so many things. We're always studying together and doing what we can to make our busy lives as much fun as possible."