When did Trampolining Become an Olympic Sport?

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Trampolining became an international Olympics event and sport at the 2000 Summer Games in Sidney, Australia. It featured three divisions of the sport, being tumbling, double mini-trampoline and synchronized trampoline. Since the inception of the sport as an Olympic event, each country has the freedom to have one man and one woman as representatives.

Trampolining is a recreational activity, competitive Olympic sport and an acrobatic training tool where the participants bounce on a trampoline. The bounces include jumps in the tuck, pike, the straight and a straddle position.

Performance History of the Trampoline Sport

The earliest competitions in the sport were held in colleges, schools and military training institutions where astronauts and pilots underwent their training programs. The first world competition of the sport was held in the city of London, in 1964, making the University of Louisiana PE instructor Jeff Hennessey to become the first founding coach of the Trampoline Team.

There are indeed more sophisticated and complex positions that have developed in recent competitions, including:

  • Forward twists
  • Backward twists; and
  • Somersaults.

Outside the Olympic trampolining are:

  • Double mini-trampoline; and
  • Synchronized trampoline.

What the Sport Entails

In very competitive and demanding competitions, the tramponists can jump to the height of 33 feet. Two countries perform a side-by-side trampoline in any competition. The number of countries that participated in 2012 increased to 26, where China’s Dong Dong won the individual men trampoline feat.

A couple in the University of Iowa built the first ever Trampolines in 1936, within the University’s gymnastic vicinities. They were George Nissen and Larry Griswold, though it is recorded this was done around 1934.

It was used to train tumblers and those aspiring to be astronauts, later developing to be a tool and center of training home acrobatic to the interested people. Later, activities such as diving and freestyle skiing emerged.

Gymnastics took over the sport, creating an aura and a sensation, which saw the sport become fun, popular and more widespread, lading to its official adoption as an Olympic game in the year 2000 in Australia.

Since those early years of the development of the sport, it has been used to train the United Navy Flight Scholars, who intend to become the pilots of the seals, navigators and explorers. NASA uses it for astronaut training and for other competitive and thrilling recreational purposes.

Waning and Declining Popularity of the Sport

Trampolines have been welcomed in the United States as a physical training education program and has also found way into the private entertainment centers. Owing to the increasing number of lawsuits related to the dangers and the injuries that come about in the sport, it has been relegated to the gymnasium, and only conducted by certified trainers.

The glamour therefore associated with the sport has waned over time and has consequently led to the decline of the American prominence in the sport, unlike in the early years. Since becoming an Olympic sport in 2000, more countries have taken up the challenge and trained their personnel. China is an example; it trained its participants in less than a decade.

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