Coach Victoria was born and raised in Long Island, New York. As a child, she looked up to the owner of the facility where she trained, Artistic Gymnastics Academy. She enjoyed the wonderful, positive environment she did gymnastics in, where she learned about hard work, dedication, balance and integrity. At the age of six, Coach Victoria decided her life dream was to open and operate her own gymnastics facility. She spent the rest of her gymnastics career absorbing every word her coaches said and watching her teammates.
As soon as she was old enough to coach, in 2009, she began assisting with toddler classes and learning to coach pre-competitive team. She moved to Tennessee in 2011 and coached locally while finishing high-school and also while studying at East Tennessee State University. At nights and in between shifts at her jobs, she would work on her business plan, design gymnastics curriculum and watch all of the content the top coaches in the country were putting out online. She still dreamed of opening a gymnastics facility to create an atmosphere for athletes and coaches to thrive in.
In 2017, Flight Athletic Academy was first established in the corner of a karate studio in Downtown Kingsport. The gym was only 3,000 square feet and didn’t even have a full-size spring floor or a vault table. Coach Amber joined The Flight Crew shortly after opening and became Coach Victoria’s apprentice as a high-schooler. The positive atmosphere and professional, progressive and progress-driven training style helped the program grow quickly, despite the lack of space and equipment. Mrs. Kaylea finished a degree at East Tennessee State University and joined The Flight Crew in the summer, helping to bring FAA to the next level of professionalism by running a meticulously organized office. To finish out the year, Coach Victoria won the “Young Entrepreneur” KOSBE Award for her hard work and dedication to her business.
In 2018, FAA became fully equipped with all of the apparatus necessary to begin a real competitive team program. Knowing that it would take a few years to catch on in an Xcel-dominant area, FAA established the only Compulsory team in the Tri-Cities and continued to offer an Xcel program so that athletes with all different types of goals would feel welcome and like they had a place at FAA. In 2019, The Aviators (FAA’s competitive team) had only eight Compulsory gymnasts and thirteen Xcel Gymnasts. FAA’s recreational gymnastics program and toddler program became so popular in the area, that more space was necessary.
In March of 2019, Flight Athletic Academy surprised everyone by moving to the heart of the town, in a beautiful 12,000-square-foot facility to house all of their programs. With all of the new space, enrollment grew tremendously and FAA was in need of new, professional coaches. Coach Kaylyn moved to FAA and began shadowing Coach Victoria and learning to coach Compulsory gymnastics. Coach Seth joined the program in the summer and brought years of experience and expertise with optional level coaching. FAA continued to add new, state-of-the-art training equipment like strap bars, single-rail bars and another vault table. Coach Seth took on the role of competitive program director and worked hard with gymnastics and medical professionals across the country to design a top-notch competitive team training program. The focus of which would be providing exceptional, progress-driven training to gymnasts without sacrificing their well-being. Senior coaches traveled to congresses, established gymnastics programs and training camps to further develop their skills. To end the year, Coach Victoria brought home her second KOSBE Award for “Buisness Excellence.”
Coach Victoria’s YouTube Channel began to gain traction and in 2020, Coach Victoria began presenting and sharing her knowledge with the gymnastics community. Since then, she has done Tumbl Trak presentations and been featured multiple times in the Shift Movement Science Podcast. The Flight Crew and Coach Victoria spent time redesigning the recreational gymnastics program curriculum and began selling it in 2022.
Big changes happened again in 2022 when Coach Ryan joined the team as the recreational program director. FAA was able to begin offering a ninja program, which blew up quickly. DGS designed a custom ninja rig for the facility with FAA’s iconic purple, blue and black color scheme. Over the summer, FAA announced they would be building a 6,000-square-foot competitive team gym next door to their existing facility with an in-ground foam pit and an additional spring floor. Going into the year 2023, the facility now services hundreds of recreational gymnasts, ninjas and toddlers. The Aviators competitive team roster for 2023 has almost sixty gymnasts, ranging from level 1-9 and Xcel silver-diamond. The Flight Crew is excited about the continued growth and hopes to offer exceptional training to the Tri-Cities for many years to come.