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I need to say million of "thank you" to you Eli. If I haven't met you, I couldn't come to the U.S. to make one of my dreams come true. You did so much for me... I mean, everything... Like my father. You hired a little Japanese girl stranger, worked visa process, took me to get social security number, took me to DMV to get driver's license, took me to AT&T to buy a cell phone, took me to the bank to make my account, took me to Toyota to buy a vehicle... Taught me coaching, technique, good food, good restaurant. And connected me to all amazing gymnastics people in the U.S.. You always asked me and listened to me even I didn't speak English good enough. I will miss you... I mean, I'm missing you. Again, thank you Eli. Rest in peace. Akiko Kawai Akena
Eli was my coach at Byers Massie Ct. Eli helped me become the best I could be. Gymnastics saved me from so many things growing up. After gymnastics I applied what I learned and what was engrained in me to life. I work hard, I'm driven and persistent with a consistent work ethic and discipline. I tend to under estimate my strength at times because conditioning from gymnastics made it my new normal. I learned these things from working with Eli and will be grateful always. Melissa
Dear Eli, It's amazing the effect someone can have on person's life and that person doesn't even realize it until that someone has moved on to a new place. Eli, you were so much more than just a gymnastics coach to me. I wish I could tell you this in person but you were like a father to me. You brought me into your home to help me achieve my gymnastics dreams. There were times you were hard on me, when I secretly cursed your name. However, those were the times that made me stronger and the rewards so much sweeter. The great times significantly outweigh even the good times and just thinking about them bring tears of happiness to my eyes. I won't lie, I was embarrassed and angry with the way my gymnastics career ended. For the longest time I held resentment towards you, blaming you for not being more involved with my choosing of college programs. A few years have passed and I've come to realize that I don't blame you or resent you, rather I'm more upset with myself for not seeking your help when I began to struggle. During my years as your gymnast you were always there for me, looking out for my best interest wether it concerned gymnastics or not. I guess what I am trying to tell you is that I credit a lot of my success in life to you and the tools you taught me. I'm still a marshmallow and still cry... a lot, but you taught me perseverance and that there is always a larger picture in mind. Eli without you I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today. I'm happy, healthy, and loving life. I get to go hiking and dig in the dirt for a living, how great is that! With that being said, I love you and you will always have a spot in my heart and in my memories. You have had such a positive impact on my life and even to this day, with you gone, you are still a positive influence. Thank you for everything that you have done for me. There are no words in this world that can express my appreciation. Rest in peace Eli and may you forever live on in memory. Love, Katelyn Mohr
Grandchildren were students, I am an employee... Eli always had my back, wish I could have done a better job for him. Love you Always. Marsh Cline
I grew up with Eli starting at 2 yrs old at Byers Gymnastics in Sacramento we even attended the same school together for a short while. I worked with him at Byers Gymnastics & he later was my daughters 1st gymnastics coach at 2yrs old! Aubri Rivera So many memories! Thank you for being a part of so many lives. We eternally love you and forever will remember you. RIP Eli Rodriguez ‪#‎byersgymnasticsfamily‬ ‪#‎sacramento‬ ‪#‎gymnastics‬ ‪#‎kids‬ Annette Rivera
I laid my head down last night and tears rolled down my cheeks. I can't believe he is gone. Eli was more than just a coach. He was a role model, a father figure, my first boss, my family, and a friend. He had been apart of almost every milestone in my life, every celebration, and every time I was sick. He always showed up. Eli has inspired so many young athletes to reach for their dreams and never give up but in the end he wasn't able to stay the path himself. It is heartbreaking. My love to Luke, Lilly, and Debbie. I will miss you dearly Eli. I'm glad you are in peace now and no longer in pain. I love you. Christine Schumann
Today has been surreal. I have been crying most of the day of the lost of my mentor, Eli Rodriguez I have so many great memories with him and my gymnastics family. His last few years have been rough. I am utterly speechless and heartbroken. I love you so much and I hope you are at peace. Elizabeth Jillson-Sullivan
It has been said that the true measure of a man is the lasting Impressions he leaves upon those he touches during his lifetime. I regret that I did not know him better but I am honored to have known him and for the impressions he has left upon those close to me. Rest in peace Eli. Scott Mckee
Eli taught me what it meant to be passionate. There was never a practice where I didn't wind up crying (from laughing or from frustration). He pushed me harder than any coach I've ever had. He saw the potential in me and wanted me to strive for greatness. I'll never forget all those hours in the gym, pushing through fear and pain to become the best possible athlete I could be. I shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears with him, and I'm forever grateful that he never gave up on me. Even when I realized that I could no longer do gymnastics, he believed in me and my potential to be a great athlete. I will be forever grateful of all the time and energy he spent on making me not only the athlete but also the person I am today. Thank you, Eli. Cari Reiswig
I have been friends with Eli for a very long time. First attending squaw valley gym camp in Tahoe in the 70's, college gymnastics in the 80's, clinics and coaching keeping In touch along decades of being friends. Most recently Eli came to coach with me at Woodward west always catching up with about the where abouts of friends from years past, old photos etc. also recently went to visit Eli with Jen Hansen and myself for dinner and we surprised him and jumped out of bushes outside his kitchen Window with neon glowing glasses. He laughed and that's the best memory is always having him smile and laugh and make light of most everything. His passion for coaching stems far ahead of so many. He always was willing to coach from the very beginning of skill to elite athletes always motivating them to keep trying. I know Eli will be flipping from cloud to cloud. I know he will be a guardian angel and watch and take care of many. I'll Miss you bunches Debbie Evans Jarrett
I've known Eli since I was little at Massie Ct. He was one of the first coaches me and my brother Brandon had. I am in complete shock and can't believe he is really gone. He has taught me so much and will be truly missed. Here's to a truly talented man R.I.P Eli We Love You!!!!! Jennifer Bucher
Eli was one of the nicest, funniest people I've ever known. A freakishly strong, committed athlete and a good friend, I can only imagine those were qualities and traits he carried on into adulthood and passed along to his family and students. I always had great respect for Eli and am deeply saddened at the news of his passing. Knowing he was a man of God from our time together at CCC, I am hopeful to see him again in Heaven - doing back flips and hand springs, entertaining the Heavenly Host with his skills, and making people smile and laugh. Rest In Peace, Eli. #respect Jay Barrett
As a young gymnast Eli was my first peer (I was probably about 10 and Eli was a few years older than I) that ever motivated me to work harder or to do better. At the time I did not realize it but he taught me some tremendous team and leadership skills. He was the top gymnast in our gym and he did not have to care or worry about my workouts but he did. It could have been Eli just commenting "Let's Go", or yelling "Gamba"(basically Go for it!) or a funny jab it helped motivate me. Even though he had mastered the skills I had been working on long before me he encouraged/celebrated the new skills I accomplished. Years later when I started my coaching career Eli was one of the coaches I spent many classes/hours shadowing and learning how to be a good coach. Workouts, coaching, or just running into Eli was always fun and laughter filled. Every time I saw Eli it was always the same. Eli would have that big smile he had on his face, he would yell "Sitar" and give me a big hug! You will be missed but not forgotten. Thank you Eli! Jason Sitar
To my funny nephew Eli. When you were little you always wanted me to scare you and play witch. I used to steal your bike and you would chase me down the street. You were so full of energy, so full of life! You can rest now, no more worries . Grandma Lillian and Papa Tony will be with you now. I love you. Look out for us all from above. I'm so glad Ryan got to meet you! Tia Margo and Uncle Jim Margo Rodriguez Bukowski
I worked for Eli for16 years and considered it a privilege . He inspired his employees to be the best that they could be. He was always ready to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with us. (He was our advocate!) He appreciated the work we did and trusted us to do our job. We also trusted him. He created an atmosphere that made us want to go to work everyday. His energy and love for gymnastics touched everyone around him. He created a bond with us that we will carry in our hearts for ever . I will always remember the amazing person you were. You will be dearly missed Eli. Rest in Peace! Barbara Osaki
Eli, we were so close in age ,You were like the little brother I never had.running around playing hide and seek.And laughing till tears filled our eyes . Well I will always smile and laugh a little when I think of you. Sweet dreams ,nephew.you are truly missed., Love,Aunt Sarah...... Sarah
Weather it was a family reunion, wedding, or any type of party, when Eli and I got together we were the life of the party. We always made sure people had a good time that's for sure. I'm going to miss those times with you cuz. The party ain't gonna be the same without you there next to me getting in trouble. you will be truly missed. I'll see you again someday. Love, your cousin Robert Robert Still
Seeing all the pictures reminded me of a time long ago and a lot of good memories. I'm sorry for your loss. PS. Otis, Clovis, and Clyde are too. :) Perry Perry Ryno
Aloha, Eli...from Pantheon School of Gymnastics Pattie, Jerry Walkabout

The "Eli Rodriguez Legacy Scholarship Fund" has finally selected 2 Elevate Gymnastics gymnasts to be awarded the scholarship.  Both are deserving student athletes, one Boys Team Member and one Girls Team Member.

A big thanks to all that donated to help these kids pursue their dreams in the sport that Eli was so passionate about.

Brandon Nguyen

Click image to see him in action.

Charity Xiong

Click image to see her in action.


If you have a short story about your relationship with Eli that you would like to share, please complete the contact me form or email us below. We will make sure we add it to the website for all to read.

Paul Rodriguez | 916-952-1722 | LegacyofEli@gmail.com

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