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New Olympic Sports

We found this great article and wanted to share it with you! A lot of what we’ve been posting lately has been surrounding the Summer Olympics coming up, and we hope you are as excited as we are!!

Here are some excerpts from a post from NBC Sports:

While some sports are Olympic staples, a few newbies are regularly added to the program.

Trampoline (2000): The trampoline was invented in 1934 to train astronauts as well as divers and skiers. It was so much fun it gained popularity as a sport of its own. Trampolining became its own Olympic sport at the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics. Russian gymnast Alexander Moskalenko was the first male to win gold in trampoline in 2000, and he also took home silver in Athens in 2004.

Sorry NBC, you’ve got your facts a tiny bit off, but that’s okay, we’ll forgive you. According to Wikipedia the history of the modern trampoline goes something like this:

First modern trampolines

The first modern trampoline was built by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in 1936. Nissen was a gymnastics and diving competitor and Griswold was a tumbler on the gymnastics team, both at the University of Iowa, USA. They had observed trapeze artists using a tight net to add entertainment value to their performance and experimented by stretching a piece of canvas, in which they had inserted grommets along each side, to an angle iron frame by means of coiled springs. It was initially used to train tumblers but soon became popular in its own right. Nissen explained that the name came from the Spanish trampolĂ­n, meaning a diving board. George Nissen heard the word on a demonstration tour in Mexico in the late 1930s and decided to use an anglicized form as the trademark for the apparatus.

In 1942, Griswold and Nissen created the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company, and began making trampolines commercially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The generic term for the trademarked trampoline was a rebound tumbler and the sport began as rebound tumbling. It has since lost its trademark and has become a generic trademark.
1968 demonstration of Spaceball.

Early in their development Nissen anticipated trampolines being used in a number of recreational areas, including those involving more than one participant on the same trampoline. One such game was Spaceball—a game of two teams of two on a single trampoline with specially constructed end “walls” and a middle “wall” through which a ball could be propelled to hit a target on the other sides end wall.

Use in flight and astronaut training

During World War II, the United States Navy Flight School developed the use of the trampoline in its training of pilots and navigators, giving them concentrated practice in spatial orientation that had not been possible before. After the war, the development of the space flight programme again brought the trampoline into use to help train both American and Soviet astronauts, giving them experience of variable body positions in flight.”

Remember, stay safe and have fun!

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