Landon Simpson: Future Olympian bound for success

Luke Fisher, Senior Staff Reporter

While many aspects of senior Landon Simpson have changed throughout his life, such as living in different places around the world, one thing has stayed the same: his love for gymnastics. Since elementary school, Landon has dreamed of competing in the Olympics and continuing his gymnastic career. Now, he has a chance to do that.

Landon plans to attend either the University of Oklahoma or Pennsylvania State University, where he will continue his academic and athletic career. 

“It has been tough to make this decision, since I’m a big OU fan but Penn State is home. Right now, I have a full athletic scholarship to both schools. If I go to PSU I plan to study Agricultural Engineering, and if OU, either Petroleum Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. One of my dreams has always been to compete on the US national team and go to the Olympics,” Landon said.

Landon has lived in many different places throughout his life due to his father being in the Air Force, but he is originally from Oklahoma. 

 “[Oklahoma] is where most of my relatives live and my older brother moved back to. I have also lived in Turkey, Florida, and now here. Gymnastics has pretty much been my life since I was little,” he said.

Landon has been excelling at the sport since he was young. 

“While I lived In Oklahoma I was state champion my first year of competition,” he said.

Landon has moved around a lot, but one big difference about the Bellefonte area is being in such close proximity to Penn State University. 

“I have had so many opportunities that I don’t think I could have had anywhere else,” he said. 

Landon has always been successful in both gymnastics and academically. 

“This August I competed in Tampa Bay, Florida, at one of the biggest competitions in the U.S. I was competing with past Olympians and high level collegiate athletes. It was the best of the best,” Landon said. 

Landon is also in many AP classes, even though he has little to no time outside of school, because most of his life outside of school is gymnastics. His schedule consists of  Honors Physics, AP Psychology, AP Government and Politics, AP Comparative Government, and Agriculture. He also takes Honors English and AP Statistics online.

Mrs. Myken Poorman, who teaches the agricultural courses at BAHS, has had Landon in many of her classes since his freshman year. 

 “Landon brings a lot to each class. He has a great sense of humor so there’s never a dull moment. He seems to enjoy learning and he’s never afraid to add to discussions. He keeps the classes lively,” Mrs. Poorman said.

He is also in Future Farmers of America (FFA), which Poorman monitors, so they have been together for most of Landon’s high school years. Over those years, Mrs. Poorman has noticed many positive qualities in Landon.

 “Landon is awesome. There’s just not a better way to put it. He works hard, is really smart, and he’s the most committed person I know. He spends most of his time at the gym training for gymnastics, yet still manages to get his work done and be brilliant,” she said. 

She remarks that, although he is successful, Landon is not one to brag about it.

“He’s so humble about it all. He’s a nationally-ranked gymnast and has two huge offers from PSU and Oklahoma and hardly ever says a word about it. He deserves so much credit and I admire his dedication and hard work,” she said.