Hiroshi Fujimoto 1949-2014, cofounder of Monterey Gymnastics, passed away peacefully on February 28, 2014 following a courageous battle with cancer.
Hiroshi's legacy will continue through the many gymnasts and their families, whose lives were forever changed by his goodness, quiet strength and commitment to others.
Monterey Gymnastics opened up on April 1, 1964. Originally, classes were held in various gymnasiums in local schools across the area, with mats and equipment being hauled to and from classes. In 1976, Hiroshi Fujimoto was recruited to the area to direct and coach the gymnastics club. The gym found a permanent residence on Dela Vina street where it thrived for 34 years. Monterey Peninsula Gymnastics Center became a dynamic force in the gymnastics world, teaching thousands of Monterey Peninsula’s youth, and coaching competitive gymnasts to local, state, regional and national championship levels. Hiroshi taught gymnastics both at the Center and at Monterey Peninsula College, where his evening classes attracted beginning and intermediate level students, many of whom went on to train and compete at the Center. Years later, many of these early students returned to MPGC to have their own children and grandchildren be coached by Hiroshi.
Hiroshi also was a force in the world of gymnastics competition throughout the United States. He was State Chair of the Northern California Boys Gymnastics Association and USA Gymnastics Chair for the entire Western United States. His expertise in coaching and distinctive quiet and calm demeanor were well recognized throughout the sport at all levels. Over the years, Monterey Gymnastics Center was a favorite spot for national, international, and Olympic athletes to visit and workout with Hiroshi.
After over 30 years at the Monterey – Dela Vina location, Hiroshi moved the Center to its present location in Sand City (FALL OF 2009). Along with longtime Head Coach and Program Director Jessica Rodriguez, the new center grew and continued its long legacy of excellence and commitment to Monterey Peninsula youth. It is now the oldest privately owned gymnastics center in the United States.
Forever in our Hearts
In the early 1970’s he came to Monterey and was hired by Dr. Gordon Schacher to teach and coach the Monterey Peninsula Gymnastics Club. In 1976 he founded the Monterey Gymnastics Center on Dela Vina Avenue in Monterey with Dr. Schacher, Rick Johnson and Gloria Elber. In the ensuing years, the Center became a dynamic force in the gymnastics world, teaching thousands of Monterey Peninsula young people, and coaching competitive gymnasts to local, state, regional and national championship levels. Hiroshi taught gymnastics classes at the Center and at Monterey Peninsula College, where his evening classes attracted beginning, and intermediate level students, many of whom went on to train and compete at the Center.
Monterey Bay Academy of Gymnastics, Cheer, & Dance © 2013