The latest discipline to join the Olympic Gymnastics programme, Trampoline began in the 1930s in the United States, based on an invention by George Nissen, a physical education teacher and former college Gymnastics champion. After seeing the safety nets of circus trapeze artists, he had the idea that gave rise to the sport.
With the help of Larry Griswald, his trainer at the University of Iowa, Nissen developed the first trampoline in his garage, and soon it was being used to train athletes in sports such as Diving, Alpine Skiing and Artistic Gymnastics, and even astronauts.
The first championship in the United States with the use of a trampoline was held in 1948, and in 1955 there was a competition at the Pan American Games in Mexico City. Soon, the equipment became popular in Europe and the rest of the world.
In 1964, the International Trampoline Federation (ITF) was founded. Since 1988, when the organization was recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the dream of entering the Games became a reality - and what helped to achieve this goal was the acceptance of the sport as part of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG, in French).
The debut of what is now referred to as Trampoline Gymnastics in the Games occurred at the 2000 Games in Sydney, with an individual event each for men and women.
Each participant performs a series of ten routines, with single, double and triple jumps, with and without somersaults. Movements are assessed by a jury, which awards points based on the difficulty and precision of each presentation, in which gymnasts can reach heights of up to ten meters above the trampoline. Points are deducted from the final score for errors.
The competition has two phases: qualifying and final. Participants execute two free routines in the first stage, with simplicity and perfection in their movements, and another in which they can be more daring with no limit as to difficulty. The top eight competitors then complete for the medals, performing one more presentation with ten movements.