Rosie
Maclennan

Canadian Olympic Athlete for Trampoline

In The News

  • August
  • 6
  • 2012
Yahoo! Sports

At the last Olympics, Rosie MacLennan was a volunteer. She used frequent flier miles to travel from Toronto. She slept on an air mattress in the living room of her brother Matt’s Vancouver home. She spent the 2010 Winter Games working at Canada House, the home away from home for Canadian athletes and their families, restocking food, running errands, whatever.

One of her duties: going to the printer to pick up photos of medal winners, so they could be framed and put on the wall.

“It was perfect,” she said. “It was an amazing experience.”

Perfect? Amazing?

At this Olympics, Rosie MacLennan is a gold medallist. She won the women’s trampoline competition Saturday in London, giving her country its first victory of the 2012 Summer Games. She was whisked to Canada House, where former Vancouver co-workers brought her food, where the prime minister called for her, where the other athletes and their families sang “O Canada” and chanted “GOLD-EN GIRL!” in her honour. Someone had to go to the printer to pick up a photo of her. It is framed and hanging on the wall.

How perfect and amazing is that?

“It certainly has been a bit of a dream come true,” she said.

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  • August
  • 5
  • 2012
The Globe and Mail

When Rosie MacLennan was a child, her grandmother had an activity chart at the family cottage and insisted just like at a summer camp that they try a new skill every day.

MacLennan and her older brothers Matt and Michael, and older sister Kate, had to prove they could do an activity three times before getting to colour off a square on the chart.

MacLennan, who won Canada’s first Olympic gold medal of the London Games in trampoline on Saturday, was never counted out of things for being too young. She was water skiing at age two, and they found ways to get her paddling with tiny paddles, swimming, diving or playing tennis with the other kids, no matter how small she was.

Always the youngest, MacLennan’s family, from King City, Ont., said she learned from the older kids but focused on always setting a new personal best.

It’s the same mindset she had Saturday as she focused not on beating the rival Chinese trampolinists, but on setting her own personal best score. Her 57.305 was a personal best for certain, good for Olympic gold, and the highest score yet for any female trampolinist.

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  • August
  • 4
  • 2012
The National Post

The number, the instant it flashed up on the North Greenwich Arena scoreboard, ignited audible gasps, then a deafening wall of sound.

“My score?” repeated Rosie MacLennan a half-hour later, an Olympic gold medal draped around her neck and a 57.3 personal best on the books. “I was shocked. It’s the biggest score I’ve ever gotten by, I think, just under a point. I knew it would be a tough one to catch, but you never want to get ahead of yourself.”

Teammate Karen Cockburn didn’t mind doing a bit of predicting, though, right then, right there.

“I mean, 57.3 is huge,” marvelled the three-medal Olympian competing in her fourth and final Games. “As soon as I saw that score, I knew she had it. I even told her. I saw the faces [of still-to-compete Huang Shanshan and He Wenna], the pressure it put on them. I knew they’d feel the heat of that huge score. As soon as I saw it I said ‘That’s a gold medal.’”

Indeed, a 23-year-old pixie from Toronto, a product of the Sky Riders trampoline factory, landed Canada’s first gold medal of the Games.

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  • August
  • 4
  • 2012
Toronto Star

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.

Strong 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.

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  • August
  • 4
  • 2012
Maclean's

When Rosie MacLennan approached the podium at the North Greenwich Arena to collect the hardware for the women’s Olympic trampoline competition, she initially tried to line up behind the step for silver. The confusion only lasted an instant, but it was understandable. That’s the spot she had earned at the last world championships, up the road in Birmingham. And it’s where she seemed fated to land again at London 2012.

Ranked fourth heading into the finals, the 23-year-old Torontonian had delivered a flawless routine, twisting and tumbling through the humid air on her way to a score of 57.305, the highest of her career. The six combined elements were more difficult than anything attempted by her competitors, but she knew the real difference would be the kind of execution marks the judges awarded the three women still to perform.

The first, Tatsiana Piatrenia of Belarus, failed to impress. Then came Huang Shanshan of China, whose score of 56.730 was only good enough for second. It all came down to her countrywoman He Wenna, the gold medalist in Beijing and reigning world champion. After a faultless opening round, the slight 23-year-old had seemed uncharacteristically nervous in the warm-ups, crashing into the trampoline’s edge on a landing. But her routine was controlled and elegant until its final seconds, when she lost her footing on her last landing, falling backwards. Her score of 55.950 was only good enough for third place—denying another Canadian, Karen Cockburn, a bronze by just 0.090 marks.

And just like that Rosie MacLennan was Olympic champion, and Canada’s first gold medalist of the London Games.

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  • August
  • 4
  • 2012
The Globe and Mail

Trampolinist Rosie MacLennan won Canada’s first gold medal of the London Olympics, but her dear friend, teammate and Karen Cockburn did not stand on the podium alongside her as the two had always dreamed.

Cockburn, full of pride for her friend and sadness at the same time, left the arena, while a beaming MacLennan climbed on to the podium to receive Canada’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in trampoline. A crowd of her family and friends erupted in cheers and waved Canadian flags while the anthem boomed.

MacLennan, from King City, Ont., had recorded the best score of her career to beat China’s 2008 Olympic gold medalist, He Wenna. The Chinese rival was gunning hard to repeat until drama unfolded in her final routine, when she tumbled on her last skill, yet still ended up with enough points for bronze behind her teammate Shanshan Huang. That kicked 31-year-old Cockburn off the podium.

“It’s definitely bitter-sweet because our dream as to be on the podium together, no matter which way,” said 23-year-old MacLennan. “We’ve been hugely supportive of each other. I know I wouldn’t be where I am in my athletic career without her pushing me and motivating me and guiding me.”

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