Tributes are pouring in for Aaron Johnson, former Canadian National Trampoline Champion and Coach, who lost his life yesterday after a bad fall. Aaron is being remembered by those who knew and loved him from around the world. He was a pioneer in Canadian trampoline and tumbling, but mostly he touched everyone around him. His loss is profoundly felt by the entire international acrobatic community.
Aaron is survived by his wife Valerie and two children, Travis and Sarah.
Heather Ross McManus wrote:
As an athlete Aaron trained with the Nissen Trampoline Company Team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he performed in acrobatic shows between travels to major competitions. After representing Canada at the 1974 World Championships he earned a reputation for being one of the highest bouncers in the world. He was Canadian Champion in 1975 and 1976 and was the first Canadian ever to compete a triffis.
After an injury forced an early end to his own athletic career Aaron became a coach of the Shasta Trampoline Team in New Westminster, British Columbia (Canada). Based on the results of his athletes he earned the position of Canadian National Team coach from 1979 to 1990. He coached 1982 DMT World Champion, Christine Tough, as well as 1984 Bronze Medalist Vikki Bullock and 1992 Bronze Medalist Jeremy Brock.
In 1999, Aaron was recruited by Cirque du Soleil, where he applied his coaching skills as an artistic coach with Mystere in Las Vegas, then in 2004 Aaron created the Vancouver Circus School along with his son Travis.
We are grateful for everything you did for the sport Aaron, and for the parts of that we were each lucky to share with you.
Aaron Johnson was not only the loving father to his son, Travis shown here (photo above), his daughter. Sarah, and husband to Valerie, but he was also an amazing and giving mentor and coach to hundreds of athletes and performers of both trampoline and circus. I met Aaron in 1981, and through his excellent guidance and instruction, I went on to win several national titles. But that pales in comparison to what he did for me after my trampoline and tumbling career was over. In 1987, Aaron was still running the Detached Youth Program for Family Services. He decided to take a chance on me, and hired me as a youth counselor at their drop-in centre. 4 months later he hired a young girl named Kristina von Ilberg, and she and I hit it off. We ended up getting married 3 years later, and having 2 beautiful children together. So, not only did Aaron give me the skills and building blocks to be successful in my career as a stunt performer, but he also gave me the family that I have today. Our hearts go out to the entire Johnson family at this time. Aaron will be FOREVER in the Hearts of Kristina and myself. THANK YOU and RIP, Aaron
More about Aaron: