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Canadian Trampoline Team at the London 2012 Olympics

The Coaches view

Dave Ross.Canadian Trampoline Coach.
Published October 30th, 2012.

Although Rosie is the team member who set Canada on fire with our first and only Gold Medal at the London 2012 Olympics, I am extremely proud of all 3 athletes on Canada’s trampoline team.

First of all it is very hard to qualify for the Olympics in any sport, and Karen, Rosie and Jason worked hard for many years to reach the top level in trampoline, and then pulled out the performances needed under pressure to secure 3 spots for Canada and then retain them as their personal spots. In Jason’s case due to injury he did not qualify until the last routine of the last Canadian qualifying competition! Of course I am also proud that all train at Skyriders Trampoline Place. After qualifying, they all trained very hard and very wisely leading up to the Olympics. It was a long hot summer at Skyriders, with plenty of extra practices, and it was not all clear sailing. Each of the athletes had to skillfully balance the urge to train hard against the risk of aggravating their injuries. This great preparation work continued in the training days in London, as the athletes stayed on task every day at the village. Then finally we got to the competition days. For all of us, coach included, those days include wishing you had a bit more time to be a bit more ready, and dealing with the media hype pressure. I am proud that all 3 made the finals! This meant handling that pressure over two routines against the best athletes in the World and placing in the top ½!

Despite all the injuries Jason was actually well prepared for his 18.2 difficulty finals routine as it had been looking really good during the final weeks, but alas the one skill that sometimes gave him trouble in training gave him trouble in the final. For Karen taking fourth place by 0.09 was particularly heart breaking. She did her best and hardest finals routine of her 4 Olympics, and if it was scored by average of all of the 7 execution judges she would have easily got a bronze medal. However our rules only count 3 of the 7 scores so she missed Canadian Olympic history of earning 4 medals in a row. Top 4 in 4, she goes out a champion.

Looking back at Rosie’s long journey to her golden moment, it seems to me to be similar to the story of the little engine who just kept saying, “I think I can, I think I can.” In particular over the 4 years since the Beijing Olympics she was the youngest of the 3 and the one with the least injury problems. For those 2 reasons she trained the hardest, and was also always willing to listen and try new avenues to perform better. A third reason that I saw was as the only one on our team without a prior Olympic medal, she was the most hungry. The result of that work emerged just months before the Olympics as Rosie became the female athlete with the hardest routine in finals and also she set the stage with a World Cup win at the last major competition before London. Going into the Olympic final she was in fourth place. Her comment about her finals strategy was, “I had nothing to lose, so might as well just give ‘er.” Her final routine was performed higher than recorded in training! Nine of the 10 skills were performed as well as she ever does them. A truly brilliant performance. This scored her a PB and put extra pressure on the athletes to follow.

Rosie won the gold medal. Proof that the Sky is the limit if you stay focused and stay positive. Now our whole team and Canada is proud of her.