How would you like to fly without any wings? That’s what it can feel like to be an Olympic Trampolinist! These athletes take the trampoline to a new level, and fly as high as 30 feet in the air with each jump. (That’s as high as a school bus standing on end!)
Most of us have jumped on a trampoline in a backyard, so we know the feeling of being flung into the air. But the Olympic trampolines are a lot different than the ones at home. These trampolines throw the athlete much higher in the air, which gives them time to perform the twists and flips that could win them a medal.
Olympic Trampolinists have to perform a certain set of skills to impress the judges. Their routines display ten skills each—things like single, double, and triple somersaults, with and without twists. They get points based on how hard the tricks are, how well they are performed, and how long they are in midair. The athletes can wear socks or special trampoline shoes, but they are not allowed to perform barefoot.
Like all sports, Olympic Trampolining has some special names for the moves the athletes perform. A Barani is a forward somersault with a half twist, and a Rudy Out is a double somersault with one and half twist. And if you do a double somersault with a double twist, you just wowed the judges with a Full In Full Out.
Olympic Trampolining is a new sport, and was first seen at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. It’s a summer sport, and you’ll be able to watch the athlete compete again during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. You can check out some great trampoline moves here! Or click here to go to the Rio Summer Olympics site and learn more about Trampolining, and the other sports happening during the Olympics this summer.