It’s interesting to imagine that a recreational activity such as trampolining has become a trampoline gymnastics Olympics discipline. But for gymnastics, it definitely makes sense. The height the athletes get from bouncing on a trampoline gives them the space for highly technical and impressive acrobatics. Some of the most common skills include somersaults, twists, pikes, tucks, flips and they are scored based on the difficulty and the airtime.
Even before trampoline gymnastics Olympics sport was officially introduced, trampolining competitions were a thing for years. These competitions date back to the 1950s when they were held in colleges across the USA and Europe. This paved the way for the first World Championship in 1964 in London. One year later, they formed an International Trampoline Federation that was in charge of governing this sport.
How it all started?
In the beginning, Americans and Europeans (Germany, France, Britain) understandably dominated this discipline. Later, USSR countries caught up and dominated the sport for a while, as they often did with most gymnastic disciplines.
The first chance that we got to see trampoline gymnastic Olympics discipline were the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sidney. The format of the competition consists of 2-3 routines performed on a standard 14ft x 7ft trampoline. In each of them, the athlete has to do 10 different skills and finish by landing on the feet.
Since then, many other countries started to gain interest in this unusual discipline. China’s program of developing trampoline gymnastics Olympics athletes brought them home an Olympic gold in 2012 Summer Olympics in London. While the gold on the latest Olympics was won a by a Belarussian trampolinist.
Besides the individual competitions, there is also the synchronized trampolining where, as you may guess, two athletes do the same set of skills at the same time. Besides having judges for each athlete in the pair, there are also judges that rate their performance as a pair.
Trampoline gymnastics competitions have another discipline called Tumbling. Here they use the 25m long tumbling track to perform trampoline-like skills in one run.
The best trampolinists usually get the score of 16.5 or more, while the current world record is 18.00, scored by a Canadian Jason Burnett.
Some people may claim that the Olympics started to include some menial sports, but a lot of the Olympic sports that we know today perhaps looked menial at the time. Trampoline gymnastics Olympics discipline requires a lot of gymnastic and acrobatic skills and it’s definitely a great inclusion.