Swiss Turners Boys Booster Club

Athletes Profile: Evan Van Aacken

Evan is a Level 10 gymnast competing for Swiss Turners Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Evan trains at Swiss Turners Academy in West Allis, Wisconsin and Oshkosh Gymnastics Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

NCAA Eligibility Center ID# 1704782074

Personal Data
Evan M. Van Aacken

Hometown: Oshkosh, WI USA
Birthplace: Oshkosh, WI USA

Parents: Teresa & William (Bill)
DOB: 04-March-2001
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 168

Phone: email for phone

Youtube Channel:


Academic Data
High School Info: Oshkosh West high School
375 N. Eagle ST
Oshkosh, WI 54902
920/424-4090     920/424-4092     920/424-4950 fax

Principal: Erin Kohl
Counselor: Heidi Wheaton
Counselor Email:
Counselor Phone: 920/424-4092 ext. 3006
Year in School: Senior
Graduation: June 2019
Intended Major: BS Computer Science
GPA: 2.843
Class Rank: 205 of 412
ACT: Feb 2018- STEM: 22 Composite: 19 English: 13 Math: 22 Reading: 18 Science: 21
Individual Honors/Achievements
  • Oshkosh West High School Standing long jump: 9'8"
(1st Place)
Wisconsin State Region IV JO Nationals
All-Around 2010, 2012, 2014    
Floor 2013, 2015    
Vault 2011, 2015  2014, 2015  
P-Bars 2010, 2013, 2016    
High-Bar 2010, 2012, 2014  2014  2015
  • 2010 Level 5 State Champion: P-Bars, H-Bar, and All-Around; FL (2), PH (9), R (3), V (2), PB (1), HB (1), AA (1)
  • 2010 Wisconsin All-State Team Level 5
  • 2011 Level 5 State Champion: Vault
  • 2011 Wisconsin All-State Team Level 6
  • 2012 Level 6 State Champion: H-Bar and All-Around; Floor (2T), Rings (2T), Vault (2), P-Bars (2T)
  • 2013 Level 7 State Champion: Floor and P-Bars; Pommel (6), Rings (11), Vault (2T), Hi-Bars (2), All-Around (2)
  • 2013 Level 7 Region IV: FL (3), PH (5), R (19), VT (6), PB (8), HB (6), AA (5)
  • 2013 Level 7 All-Region Team
  • 2014 Level 8 State Champion: Hi-Bar and All-Around; FL (2), PH (4), R (3),VT (2), PB (2)
  • 2014 Level 8 Region IV Vault and Hi-Bar Champion; FL (7), PH (6T), R (5), VT (1T), PB (2), HB (1T), AA (2)
  • 2014 Level 8 All-Region Team
  • 2014 USAG Level 8 Junior Olympic National Qualifier, Long Beach, CA USA
  • 2014 Level 8 JO Nationals VT (27), PB (5), AA (37); Event Finals: VT (31T), PB (34), AA (45)
  • 2014-2015 Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy Most Improved Optional Boys Team Gymnast
  • 2015 Level 9 (13) WI State Floor and Vault Champion; FL (1), PH (2), R (3), V (1), PB (4), HB (3), AA (2)
  • 2015 Level 9 (13-14) Region IV Vault Champion; FL (21), PH (8), R (19T), V (1), PB (4T), HB (9), AA (3)
  • 2015 Level 9 All-Region Team
  • 2015 USAG Level 9 (13-14) Junior Olympic National Qualifier, Daytona Beach, FL USA
  • 2015 Level 9 JO National High Bar Champion; FL (29T), PH (33), R (23), V (3), PB (16), HB (1), AA (8)
  • 2016 Level 9 WI State P-Bars Champion; FL (7), PH (3T), R (4), V (2T), PB (1), HB (3), AA (4)
  • 2016-2017 Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy Most Dedicated Optional Boys Team Gymnast
  • 2017 Level 10 (16) WI State Champion: Vault; FL (12T), PH (3), R (12), V (1), PB (5), HB (11), AA (11)
  • 2017 Level 10 (16) Region IV: FL (17), PH (2), R (19), V (2T), PB (8T), HB (11), AA (11)
  • 2017 USAG Level 10 Junior Olympic National Qualifier, Orlando, FL USA
  • 2017 Level 10 (16) JO Nationals -Prelims: FL (60T), PH (28T), R (72T), V (43), PB (62T), HB (8), AA (41T)
  • 2017 Level 10 (16) JO Nationals - All-Finals:  AA (42)
  • 2018-2019 Team Captain
Extracurricular Activities
  • USA Gymnastics (since age 3, 18 to 24 hours per week plus 12+ hours commute to/from practice)
Community Activities
  • Junior Rotary
  • Oshkosh West High School Class Government
  • Oshkosh West High School Leadership
  • Oshkosh West Yearbook Staff
  • 2018-2019 Oshkosh West Yearbook Co-editor-in-chief

I will NOT give up on my goals or my dreams!

  • 2014 Broke 2 toes two days after Region IV championships; competed JO Nationals with broken toes.
  • 2016 Broke leg after WI State
  • 2017 Diagnosed with testicular cancer
    • January diagnosed; surgery
    • 4 rounds of 5-day Chemotherapy while still practicing/competing with PICC line in arm; made JO Nationals All-Around Finals!
    • July surgery to remove spread to lung
  • 2018 Kicked HB two days prior to WI State meet: severe bruising on both feet
Work Experience
  • N/A
Military Experience
  • Dependent of Veteran/Child
Gymnastics Training
Year began Gymnastics: 2004

Program: Men's Artistic
Level: 10 Junior 17-18

Current Club: Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy

How did you get involved in gymnastics: Could not stop him tumbling and copying gymnastics moves. Parents thought training would keep him safe.
2004 - 10/2011 Oshkosh Gymnastics Center
2080 W. 20th Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 235-7800
David Russell
Joe Cuadra
10/2011 - Present Oshkosh Gymnastics Center
2080 W. 20th Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 235-7800
Joe Cuadra
10/2011 - 08/2015 Swiss Turners Academy
2214 S. 116th ST
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 321-4340
Andrei Kan
Alex Belanovski
Stacy Maloney
08/2015 - 08/2016 Swiss Turners Academy
2214 S. 116th ST
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 321-4340
Andrei Kan
Ben Jacobs
Stacy Maloney
Summer 2016 University of Minnesota Gymnastics Camp
Minneapolis, MN
Summer 2017 University of Minnesota Gymnastics Camp
Minneapolis, MN
Summer 2018
University of Minnesota Gymnastics Camp
Minneapolis, MN
University of Iowa Gymnastics Camp
Iowa City, IA
08/2016 - 08/2018 Swiss Turners Academy
2214 S. 116th ST
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 321-4340
Ben Jacobs
AJ Sandburg
Stacy Maloney
08/2018 - Present Swiss Turners Academy
2214 S. 116th ST
Milwaukee, WI 53227
(414) 321-4340
AJ Sandburg
Jacob Schroeder
Stacy Maloney
USAG Gymnastics Level 10 Best Scoring
Event Score Meet
Floor  13.50 2017 Swiss Turners Swiss Cup, West Allis, WI
Pommel Horse  12.70 2017 WI State Championship
Rings  12.00 2017 JO Nationals - AA Finals, Kissimmee, FL
Vault  13.80 2017 WI State Championship
Parallel Bars  12.80 2017 Swiss Turners Swiss Cup, West Allis, WI
High Bar  13.00 2018 Swiss Turners Swiss Cup, West Allis, WI
All Around  74.20 2017 Swiss Turners Swiss Cup, West Allis, WI
National Competition Results
2014 USAG JO Nationals
Long Beach, CA USA
Event Finals
2015 USAG JO Nationals
Daytona Beach, FL USA
All-Around Finals
Final Standings
2017 USAG JO Nationals
Kissimmee, FL USA
All-Around Finals
Final Standings
Gymnastics Repertoire
Floor Learning/working On:
- Double Arabian; Back 5/2 Punch 1/2; Front Double flip; Back 3/1 Full
Pommel Horse Learning/working On:
- Tong fe; C Flop; D Russian
Rings Learning/working On:
- Jonasson; Iron Cross; Half in Full Out
Vault Learning/working On:
- Kaz Full
Parallel Bars Learning/working On:
- Honma; Heely; Peach Handstand; Double Back Pike
High Bar Learning/working On:
- Tkachev Half; Quast; Tripple Back
Biographical Sketch
A gymnast is, arguably, one of the most in shape people on the planet.  Evan Van Aacken has been in gymnastics since age 3 following in the footsteps of his sister, Gabrielle, and his brother, Anthony, and is currently a level 10 gymnast competing for Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy in West Allis, WI.

When not in the gym, Evan enjoys gaming on-line, movies, inviting friends over with their gaming systems, and other activities with friends and family.

Evan is a Senior at Oshkosh West High School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin doing well in his studies.  Like other students, he does not enjoy homework, yet oddly is almost always done before going to practice.  Practice is usually six times a week averaging 3 hours per day.  Yet, he is not practicing completely at the local Oshkosh Gymnastics Center as he had been.  In October 2011, his head coach decided to move on.  So the family made the hard decision to commute to West Allis, a suburb of Milwaukee, four times a week to advance his skills at Swiss Turners Gymnastics Academy. (Since mid-August 2012, the family has put on over 134,000 miles primarily for gymnastics practices!)

In 2015, as a level 9 gymnast, Evan was the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National High Bar champion, placed 3rd on Vault, 8th All-Around (6 events), and won day 2 of All-Around Finals competition.

On Wednesday night January 25, 2017, this 15-year-old elite gymnast starting competing against something nobody should ever have to compete against: Cancer

Evan had been experiencing a pain in his "groin" for about 3 weeks when he brought it to my attention. I asked the typical things of a parent: did you fall or get hit?  I asked him to let me know if the pain continued.  Well, the pain continued and a week later, on Wednesday night (Jan 25) (around 4 weeks of inconsistent pain), he reminded his mom and I of his pain.  After clarifying what his “groin” was, we discussed about checking himself...  He went and showered and checked himself and found a mass...

Up to this point we had never considered educating Evan on how to check himself...

Medical procedures started in a flash: Urgent Care Clinic validated a mass; then Ultrasound; next a Urologist confirmed a mass and scheduled a radical orchiectomy for Monday (Jan 30).

We were shell shocked!  We decided to go to Swiss to keep up his spirits and the Swiss Family came through! Evan had a great practice and was recharged!

The surgery came and went.  We were nervous because of surgery and results of the biopsy.  Evan was out of school for a week and gymnastics for 4 to 6 weeks!  But his health had to come first!  Evan had no restrictions: we get him back to school, the gym, and any part of life that had been on hold.

Thursday (Feb 2), results: The mass is a non-seminoma embryonal carcinoma with no apparent metastasis: Testicular Cancer.  Next a CT scan from the neck to upper thighs to check for other tumors; finding: small tumor in his lung.  Referred to Oncology: PET/CT scan; tumor in his lung has grown to 10mm and has motility: cancer has spread to his lung.  Chemotherapy treatment plan starting March 6: four 3-week cycles (Week 1: 5 daily 3-hour sessions of chemo; Weeks 2 & 3: recover).

Chemo week 1: Really hit Evan on Wednesday, he could hardly move.  Thursday he had behind-the-wheel DMV test: PASSED; then school.  Friday he couldn't  make the whole day of school.  He needed the weekend to recover.  By the following Monday, he was back in school and to practice!

After the two weeks of recovery, with a PICC line in his right arm, on Sunday March 26, he had the 2017 Wisconsin State Gymnastics meet.  He started on Rings and peeled off one hand causing his arm to be hurt... came back to WIN Vault and place 5th on P-Bars.  You could tell he was running out of energy on High-Bar, his favorite event.  He sat out Floor.  Then came back to take 2nd place on Pommel Horse.

The following week was chemo week 2 which hit him harder than week 1 and he had to have a shot to help boost his white blood cell count which made his bones ache.  Yet 8 days after his last dose of chemo, he competed at the 2017 Region IV Championships!  Evan started on Floor; 2nd place on Pommel Horse; Rings; tied for 2nd place on Vault; tied for 8th place P-Bars, then High-Bar.  Somehow he had enough energy to complete all 6 events!  After the meet Evan was recognized for what his is going through and was given a standing ovation; then another when he was on the podium for 2nd place on Pommel...

Dan Coon (Region IV Director) wrote:

After the AA winners had been awarded and recognized, an announcement was made that the Qualifiers to J.O. Nationals would be introduced.

"Beginning in ascending order the 15th qualifier..., 14th Qualifier is: Evan Van Aacken."

The folks in the stands exploded; standing and cheering and beating the bleacher floor plates.

Then something extraordinary happened. The gymnasts in the session had been sitting on the FX area in front of the awards stand.  Spontaneously, quietly for a second, in mass, as though something had erupted from the earth, they all stood in unison with their arms raised, then they began pumping the air, applauding and cheering Evan, who quietly stood on the podium smiling. The arena reverberated with the sound of family, friends, people who didn't know him, and suddenly his team mates, celebrating what he had accomplished, and----what his success had done for them.
Evan's Standing Ovation

Interviews with NBC26, NBC26 Broadcasts (compilation)BBC Sportshour

Evan competed at USA Gymnastics J.O. Nationals in Kissimmee, FL on May 11, 2017, 19 days after his third cycle of 5-daily chemo treatments (15 so far).  With 102 athletes in JO - Level 10 - 16 year olds, he was tied for 41st after day 1 and 8th on high-bar.  He earned his way to All-Around finals on May 13 being in the top 42!  On Saturday May 13, 2017, you could tell Evan was tired... but you could also tell he was giving it his all!  He completed all 6 events with only 1 fall (on high-bar).  Evan placed 42nd after day 2.  At the very end, after completing his rings event and sticking the landing, he had a standing ovation from his peers, club and college coaches, and spectators.  Through the week and after competing day 2, MANY came up to him and personally shook his hand, gave a hug or fist bump.  In my opinion this recognition was better than any medal...

The gymnastics community has been inspirational and uplifting to Evan's fight!

Since competing at JO Nationals, Evan got to "Ring the Bell" on May 19 after completing week 4 of 4 scheduled chemo treatments.

CT scan and blood tests were completed June 8: The cancer blood markers are lower than before chemo. The original tumor is still there and a second one was found at the base of his lung. The tumors are being called mature teratomas.  Course of action is either to continue to monitor or surgery to remove...

After consulting with a father of a Salto gymnast (and oncology surgeon at Froedtert in Milwaukee) and Dr. Lal and Dr. Dobrozso at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, we decided to have the tumors removed on July 19.

July 19: Evan had lung surgery at Children's Hospital Wisconsin to remove 2 masses in his left lung. Time went really slow, but the specialists did a fabulous job! After the surgery, Dr. Lal came out with a BIG smile and great news!

July 21: Evan has progressed so well, in fact, that the chest tube came out and he was sent home! WAY WAY ahead of schedule.

July 22: We received the results of the pathology of the tumors: tumor 1 was necrotic (dead), probably from the chemo; tumor 2 was a mature teratoma, was removed with good margins, and has NO cancer!

We know the road is not done, Evan has 5 years of monitoring, which we hope is ONLY monitoring, but we are finally to that stage!
UPDATE 2017-Dec: 6 months and no sign of cancer via blood markers!
UPDATE 2018-Jun: 12 months and no sign of cancer via blood markers nor CT scan!

I can honestly say that gymnastics did not cure Evan's cancer, but it has him in great shape to kick its butt!

With the July-2017 lung surgery and recuperation, the 2018 season started slowly...  The summer strength training couldn't happen.  Kicking the high-bar days before the WI State meet meant not competing all six events.  At the Region IV Championships Evan had 3 season highs (FL, R, & PB) and an AA season best!  He missed qualifying to JO Nationals by .35...

His focus and determination Summer 2018 has been inspiring!  Please check out is summer 2018 video on his YouTube channel.

Many have asked to hear about his fight with cancer or tell their child about Evan's fight.  Evan has been willing for all to know because him having cancer is "a fact".  Our family wants everyone to mandate every man in your life, especially those 12 to 45, to do a self exam!  Most younger men, including Evan, don't know what to check for:  A tumor can DOUBLE IN A MONTH!  When in doubt, consult a professional!  Early detection can save a life!


Last modified: September 3rd, 2018 at 21:43

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