Canada’s Karen Cockburn, Rosie MacLennan on even footing on Olympic trampolines
Karen Cockburn vividly recalls catching a glimpse of an eight-year-old Rosie MacLennan hanging around the Skyriders Trampoline Club in Toronto.
“She was just, like, this little cute girl at my club that I thought was really good,’’ the three-time Olympic medallist was reminiscing Monday. “She got better and better. Then she made the junior team, and that’s when I started to talk to her a little more. She was training alongside me so I tried to give her tips and things like that.’’
When MacLennan advanced to the senior level, the two started travelling together, rooming together. They competed in synchronized trampoline together. And now, they provide Canada with an enviable one-two punch at the London Olympic Games.
Cockburn may have the big Olympic reputation — she won her third Olympic medal in Beijing, a silver to go along with a silver and bronze — but MacLennan has improved vastly since Beijing, where she was seventh in her Olympic debut. As they fine-tune for Saturday’s trampoline competition, the gap in quality has shrunk to virtually nothing. They are no longer mentor and apprentice: they are equals.
“Rosie,’’ says national team and Skyriders club coach Dave Ross, “has been on fire lately. She won the last World Cup and she’s got medals at three worlds in a row. She’s sort of below the radar because Karen’s the big story. But she’s probably as good as Karen right now.”