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High-flying athletes

Posted on July 3, 2018 by Dave Sulz
Photo courtesy of Canadian Olympic Committee via Gymnastics Canada Two-time Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan is shown competing at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. MacLennan will be among the top-level Canadian athletes competing at the 2018 Canadian Championships in Trampoline Gymnastics in Lethbridge July 5-8.

Spectators can expect a definite “wow” factor at the 2018 Canadian Championships in Trampoline Gymnastics, which will visit Lethbridge next month.
Running July 5-8 at the Enmax Centre, with competition from July 6-8, the event will feature more than 200 high-level athletes from across the country, including Rosie MacLennan, who made history at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when she became the first trampolinist to ever win back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
Also slated to compete are six-time Canadian tumbling champion Jon Schwaiger as well as Tamara O’Brien, 2017 World Games silver medallist in double mini-trampoline.
“That’s the coolest part,” said Scott Whiteside, event director and head coach of Gymfinity Gymnastics at the University of Lethbridge. “We’re hosting the cream of the crop.”
The championships will feature the three trampoline disciplines: trampoline (including synchronized trampoline), double-mini trampoline, and tumbling in all national categories.
Spectators who are new to the sport can expect some eye-popping entertainment.
“It’s a very dynamic sport as far as skills,” said Whiteside.
“It’s a good ‘wow’ sport. They’re doing skills and routines most people can’t even dream of ever doing.”
The Gymnastics Canada website describes the three trampoline disciplines as follows:
Trampoline, an Olympic discipline, symbolizes freedom, flying, and space. Multiple somersaults and twists are performed at a height of eight metres and require precise technique and perfect body control. The trampoline is also used as a basic training device for all sports that contain acrobatic elements.
Tumbling is characterized by continuous speedy, complex, rhythmic hands to feet, feet to hands acrobatic elements lasting around six seconds. This work is performed on a 25-metre-long dynamic track. Tumbling is a highly spectacular sport, in which a perfect combination of speed and rhythm in somersaulting and twisting movements are required.
Double mini trampoline developed from the common mini-tramp, but allows for a more acrobatic performance. After a take-off, the competitors perform one exercise on the mini-trampoline, followed by another routine on the landing mat. High level gymnasts execute double and triple somersaults with twists.
Whiteside said the Canadian championships normally go to much larger cities, so it’s a feather in Lethbridge’s cap to have landed an event of this magnitude. Hosting the event at the Enmax Centre is a benefit for spectators, too, since the championships are often held at facilities with more limited seating.
“The venue is going to be amazing,” said Whiteside.
Lethbridge was announced in May 2017 as the host city for the championships. At the time, Peter Nicol, president/CEO for Gymnastics Canada, said in a media release: “We’re honoured to bring the 2018 Canadian Championships in Trampoline Gymnastics to the city of Lethbridge. Trampoline gymnastics is an extremely spectator-friendly sport that features intricate acrobatic movements on trampoline and on the tumbling track and is sure to be an event that will thrill the audience and inspire the next generation of athletes to try the sport.”
Whiteside expects that vaving the Canadian championships in Lethbridge will indeed be motivating for local trampoline gymnastics athletes, who will have a rare opportunity to see national and international-calibre athletes up close.
“We’re looking forward to it. I’m personally excited.”
Tickets for the 2018 Canadian Championships in Trampoline Gymnastics can be purchased online at http://www.enmaxcentre.ca.

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