Ron Galimore was just five years old when his father, Willie, was killed in a car accident. Willie Galimore was starting his eighth season as a star running back for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. His second son, Ron, would take the family name to new heights, quite literally. Ron Galimore would prosper in a different sport as one of the best gymnasts ever.


Galimore transferred to Iowa State from LSU in 1979. He had won a pair of NCAA titles before coming to Ames. Under ISU head coach Ed Gagnier, Galimore would go where no gymnast had ever gone. Galimore won two individual NCAA titles on the vault, leading Iowa State to a second-place national finish in 1981. Ultimately he would win All-America honors nine times, placing in the all-around, vault, and floor exercise twice at the NCAA championships.


At the 1981 NCAA meet, after a chief rival had just tallied a score of 9.9 in the vault competition, Galimore demonstrated the depth of his talent and character. He saved the best vault of his career for that final performance as the last competitor, registering the first perfect 10 in NCAA history. Galimore would go on to earn a spot on the 1980 U.S. Olympic team that never got to compete because the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympic Games.


After retiring from competition, he served as an assistant coach at Iowa State. He would go on to work as national men’s program director for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation. Galimore was a star performer. His leaping ability allowed him to soar higher than his peers in competition. His spectacular vaults were unique and brought people to gymnastics meets who had never seen one before.