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In Memory Of

Coach Michael Servantes

Words can’t describe the loss that we, as a family and a business, feel about losing Coach Mike. Mike was THE most consistent and reliable person I knew. I knew that if I asked him to do it, he would always do it. Mike was the person that NEVER complained about anything. He never talked bad about anyone, and he surely didn’t want to burden anyone with his “problems”. Mike was one of the most positive people I have ever met. I’ve never seen him get mad or upset. He had the best outlook on life. No matter if you had a bad day, he could bring a smile to your face. He brought the “fun” and the liveliness to every place he went, whether it’d be at the gym, at a meet, a function, or a conference. He was always full of surprises, even after 7 years of knowing him. He loved his kids more than they’ll ever know or realize. Even to the end, he was still very positive and fought as much as he could. We are so sad that we, personally and professionally, got to say a proper goodbye to him. I was lucky enough that my last in person interaction with him was in my car for 4 hours getting to know him better and when we got back to the gym, gave him a hug. My first and last hug with. My last conversation with him, I was lucky enough to hear him tell me he loved me, and I was able to tell him I loved him as well. We will miss him dearly.
As a gymnast, I used to watch Mike in the gym and think, “Wow, that coach is crazy.” I have known Mike since I was a 10 year old gymnast and he was coaching at Elite. What a blessing it has been for me to have an athlete to coach relationship transform into a peer to peer relationship. As a coach, I used to watch him in the gym and think, “Wow, that coach is crazy.” Mike always came up with the most bizarre “drills” or games. To the outside eye, his group could look a tad chaotic, but what a beautiful mess it was. He knew every gymnast’s name. He knew their event settings. He knew their fears. Most importantly, he knew how to help them work past their fear. I don’t know that there will ever be another coach who could think as far outside the box as Mike (and I mean that in the best way possible). His patience was as endless as his infinite belief in you. He never gave up. Becoming peers with Mike was a blessing but becoming his friend was pure love. As a Director, I used to watch him in the gym and think, “Wow, I don’t know what I would do without him.” I’m still not quite sure what I am going to do. All I can do now is remember how much he believed in me. He made me a better coach, leader, and person. His love and legacy will live on forever here at TEGA. Thank you buddy and I miss you.
As I sit down to write this I don’t even know where to begin. From the moment I started working at Elite ten years ago, Mike immediately welcomed me with open arms. It was apparent early on that he had a true love for the sport and a desire to provide a fun gymnastics experience to all the gymnasts that he worked with. He always had a smile on his face, and was always ready to cheer up the girls with his positive attitude and uplifting energy.

Mike and I soon became “partners in crime” as we coached alongside each other working with the Xcel gymnasts. We made countless memories with the girls at practice and at meets that I will never forget. He truly cared about each and every person in the gym and was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. His light hearted and vivacious personality made practice fun and low stress for everyone. Whenever the girls needed a “pick-me-up”, they would turn to Mike for one of his funny quotes or crazy drills/activities (like the slip-n-slide or big slingshot in the gym).

As the years went on he was my “go-to” guy for EVERYTHING. He was always willing to help me out with anything that I needed. He thoroughly enjoyed traveling to meets, and wrote down every little detail that he would need to make sure the girls were in good hands and ready to go. He helped me prep for high school meets and was always there to punch in scores or complete any other tasks to make sure the meet ran smoothly. Most importantly, he took time out of his week to come watch and support me and the girls. He truly took pride and interest in the successes of the girls both inside and out of the gym, and was always so happy for them. I could be here for days talking about all the amazing things Mike has done for me (and the people in this gym) throughout the years. I can’t even begin to put into words how much I appreciated him for his support and friendship. We truly became a “gym family” and I am so beyond lucky to have known him. He will be extremely missed but never forgotten. Our gym will definitely not be the same without him. Love you buddy.

Mike’s sudden departure has been really traumatic to all of us, and will certainly leave a scar in our hearts for a long time. His positive energy, his generosity and his way of always wanting to make people happy will certainly keep cheering us up for many years to come though. I am sure that everyone at TEGA has several hilarious stories to tell about Mike. He taught me a great deal about not taking things too seriously. Mike, I wish I could have told you how grateful I am to have known you, traveled and worked with you. You were an extraordinary person and I will miss you tremendously.

PS: I don’t think I will ever have a fourth child, but fine Mike, I will consider calling him/her Michael or Michelle if so… you tried so hard to convince me the first 3 times :-)

Michael Servantes Tribute Photo