London 2012: Canadian Rosie MacLennan’s gold medal trampoline routine explained
A trampoline routine is like a living thing. There isn’t one element that will win gold in the event. It demands a strong performance straight through. There are 10 skills (combinations of flips, twists and bends). Gold medallist Rosie MacLennan of Toronto was able to find the right mix, combined with confidence to win it. Her routine was also more difficult than the other athletes. But there are three things she did that stand out and got her to gold:
Strong, High Start
MacLennan had a nice, high easy start. Athletes usually get up to and over 23 feet at the beginning of a routine. But some take a few more bounces than others to get there. That tires them out and puts them at a disadvantage. “But Rosie’s bounces were just bang on and noticeably higher than everybody else’s,” said Christopher Mitruk, two time double mini-trampoline world champion.
Her third and fourth jumps
To have more than one triple (turning head over heels in the air thrice) in a routine is an impressive feat. To do a twist in the air with your body turgid is as well. MacLennan did both. While she had more triples, twists and pikes, a few of MacLennan’s competitors got the triples and twists as well. Pike skills and straight skills are worth more than tuck skills in terms of difficulty, explained Mitruk. But her fourth skill may have gotten her gold. It’s the one she said she was having trouble with. She’d only had a year to perfect it, but she did it amazingly, said Mitruk. Nailing that had an impact on the rest of her routine. It gave her that edge she needed to finish.
Then she ended with a firm thwack onto the trampoline and gold within reach. Fliping twice and turning 1 1/2 times in the process, MacLennan ended her routine like a champion: strong. “It was a beautiful finish,” said Mitruk. It’s an important skill to nail and she nailed it. Part of being able to do that was being prepared mentally and staying that way throughout her routine — she knew what she had to do and she was ready.