Raymond V Overmann
Owner & CEO
Olympia Gymnastic Training Centers
Location: St. Louis, MO
Industry: Children's Sport Instruction
Raymond V. Overmann’s entrepreneurial spirit has been evident since he was in elementary school, when he charged first-graders 10 cents to receive a letter from Santa at Christmastime.
As he got older, Overmann delivered newspapers, sold candy door to door and, as a high schooler, created the Harney Invitational, a basketball tournament that grew to 32 teams and was hosted in his backyard.
When he got the chance to become an entrepreneur as an adult, he went all in.
“I left my full-time job security as a teacher in Parkway School District and at the same time invested every cent that I possessed, including all of my retirement funds,” he said. “Why? In order to have the opportunity to become an entrepreneur — a chance to determine my own destiny and at the same time make a positive contribution to the lives of children.”
Overmann is the owner and CEO of Olympia Gymnastic Training Centers, which aims to build happy, healthy and confident children through gymnastics.
Overmann received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeast Missouri State University and found work as a physical education teacher in the Parkway School District. There, he headed up the gymnastics program and formulated a vision for reaching children across St. Louis through gymnastics.
In 1979, the doors to the first Olympia opened in North County. In less than two years, enrollment soared from 16 to more than 350. The business added more locations, summer camps, programs targeted for age groups and skill, and training for cheerleaders. Today it is one of the largest gymnastics corporations in the country. The business serves more than 5,000 children per week and employs more than 275 people, with plans for further expansion in the coming years.
“With singular focus and determination, Ray has built the Olympia brand for over 43 years and impacted children’s sport education in St. Louis, Missouri, and nationwide in a lasting way,” Overmann’s team said. “Olympia was one of the first gymnastic companies in the country to grow on a large scale, and is one of a handful of such companies nationwide. Ray is a pioneer in shifting gymnastics instruction from a “mom and pop” business model to showing that a multi-facility, market-capturing business model in our industry can be successful.”
Overmann and his staff have given back to the community regularly over the last four-plus decades. In 2018, Olympia partnered with St. Louis Children’s Hospital and raised more than $11,500 to purchase exercise equipment for their rehab center. Olympia participates in National Gymnastics Day each year, raising money for chosen charities. Every year, each one of Olympia’s locations selects a nonprofit to partner with and raise funds or donate items to — Circle of Concern, Children’s Miracle Network, Cancer Walk, Webster Kirkwood Ministries, Kids Who Care Food Drive, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, elementary school PTAs, local animal shelters and more.
Ray was born and raised in St. Louis City in the Walnut Park neighborhood. He is a die-hard golfer! Rain or shine, he ll be out there with his club! His favorite golf course is Persimmon Woods, which he happens to be part owner of. He's also smooth out on the dance floor!