Lubbock trampolinists aim for 2020 Olympics - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Lubbock trampolinists aim for 2020 Olympics

Natalie Jenkins, Olivia Simpson and McKeely Underwood (source: KCBD) Natalie Jenkins, Olivia Simpson and McKeely Underwood (source: KCBD)

While team USA continues to go for gold in Rio, athletes here at home are working hard towards their own Olympic goals.

Ready, Set Go Gymnastics on 50th Street has three trampolinists who have already been identified as Olympic hopefuls, working to compete in Trampoline in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Trampoline team is called Air Extreme.

"They're doing multiple twisting multiples in the air," Head coach and Ready Set Go owner Brad Davis said.

These dedicated trampolinists fly 30 feet into the air, taking tumbling exercises you generally see on the floor, into the sky.

"They're judged on height, they're judged on performance, and judged on difficulty," Coach Davis said.

Coach Davis describes it best.

"When I'm looking at it I'm looking at a diver that's jumping 30 feet high that instead of landing on their head, are landing on their feet," he said.

For Olivia Simpson, McKeely Underwood and Natalie Jenkins, this sport has opened up a world of possibilities.

"They're our 2020 Olympic hopefuls. These girls have been identified by USA gymnastics trampoline for having the talent and ability to make that team," Coach Davis said.

At age 15, Olivia is currently on the Junior National Team while at 12 and 13, Natalie and McKeely are in the Olympic Developmental Program.

"It's really cool, because we get to all travel everywhere and experience everything together. We're like sisters," Simpson said.

These girls are in the gym almost every day, practicing close to 15 hours a week, working hard to move to the next level.

"Once we get closer to competition time, they'll be coming in even more. They'll come in earlier, they'll stay later," Coach Davis said.

Of course this commitment can come with some challenges.

"You miss so many days from going to like worlds, like you miss a week of school," Underwood said.

"Lots of catch up work," Simpson said.

But the girls say this once in a lifetime opportunity makes it all worth it.

"I love the experience, and meeting new friends," Jenkins said.

"It's such a great honor to compete for the U.S., but I feel like we just have to take it one day at a time and keep training hard," Simpson said.

"You've just got to work hard and keep your mind set on that," Underwood said.

And they'll always have the support of their families, their coaches and team.

"Trampoline is an individual sport. But as far as these girls making it as far as they have, it's because of their team with them. They push each other," Coach Davis said.

"Thank you for everything. And believing in us this whole time," Jenkins said.

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