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Trampoline 101: Olympic history

Trampoline 101: Olympic history
Posted at 11:21 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 17:29:19-04

Sydney, 2000: In the late 1990s, when trampoline was officially added to the program for the Sydney Games, then three-time world champion Aleksandr Moskalenko of Russia came out of retirement. In Sydney, the 30-year-old won comfortably to join compatriot and training partner Irina Karavayeva as trampoline's first Olympic champions.

Russia wasn't the only nation to see its flag flown twice at the trampoline medal ceremonies. After 19-year-old Toronto native Karen Cockburn took bronze in the women's event, her then-boyfriend (now husband) Mathieu Turgeon finished third in the men's competition. The surging Turgeon's bronze came just a year after he'd placed 15th at the 1999 World Championships, barely qualifying for the 2000 Games.

Athens, 2004: In trampoline's second appearance in the Olympics, Ukraine's Yuri Nikitin won a surprise gold medal, finishing three-tenths of a point ahead of the 2000 Olympic champion and reigning world champion, Russia's Aleksandr Moskalenko. Nikitin had never won a world championship medal before claiming Olympic gold; at four Worlds appearances he placed no better than fifth.

In the women's competition, defending Olympic champion Irina Karavayeva of Russia failed to qualify for the final, leaving the door open for Germany's Anna Dogonadze and Canada's Karen Cockburn to claim gold and silver, respectively. China's Huang Shanshan, the youngest athlete in the competition at age 18, earned bronze, becoming the first Asian to win an Olympic trampoline medal. All three medalists scored higher than Karayeva's previous Olympic total score of 38.90.

Beijing, 2008: At a home Olympics, China claimed its first ever trampoline gold medals with two champions. In the women's competition, 2004 Olympic champion Anna Dogonadze of Germany fell in the finals and finished eighth; while 19-year-old He Wenna jumped to first place. Karen Cockburn of Canada won the silver (her third career Olympic medal) and Uzbekistan's Yekaterina Khilko finished third.

The next day, China's Lu Chunlong edged Jason Burnett of Canada for gold. China's Dong Dong, a relatively inexperienced competitor in Beijing, won the bronze medal. 2004 Olympic champion Yuri Nikitin of Ukraine finished fifth, while Athens bronze medalist Henrik Stehlik of Germany was eliminated in qualification after judges believed he missed the target area. (Video shows the call was incorrect, but replays are not allowed in official reviews and Stehlik's protest was denied.

London, 2012: Both defending champions from Beijing failed to add a second gold medal to their collections in London. China's He Wenna, the defending women's champion, dropped to her knees at the end of her final routine and landed in bronze medal position. Instead, Canadian Rosannagh "Rosie" MacLennan earned a personal best score of 57.305 to claim the top of the podium--and Canada's first Olympic gold medal of the London Games. Team USA also had reason to be proud, as Savannah Vinsant became the first American to advance to the trampoline final since the sport was added to the Olympic program in 2000.

The 2008 gold medalist on the men's side, China's Lu Chunlong, was denied a repeat win by Dong Dong, also from China. Dong had the top score in qualifying and finished more than a point ahead of the silver medalist, Dmitry Ushakov of Russia. American Steven Gluckstein finished last in the qualifying round when he hit the safety pads after only two skills and was unable to complete his routine.

Rio, 2016: China won two medals in the men’s event: silver and bronze. The 2012 gold medalist, Dong Dong of China, was beaten by Uladizlau Hancharou for the gold. The 20-year-old Hancharou scored 61.745 to win in his Olympic debut.

On the women's side, Canada's Rosie MacLennan, 25, successfully defended her Olympic gold medal with a score of 56.465, beating Bryony Page of Great Britain and Li Dan of China. Li was the reigning world champion.