Trampoline - History Print
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Sunday, 11 February 2007 07:48

Trampoline - History

Trampolinist on take-off in slow motion
The first modern trampoline was made in 1934 after observing circus trapeze artistes

In the early 1930s, George Nissen observed trapeze artistes performing tricks when bouncing off the safety net. He made the first modern trampoline in his garage to reproduce this on a smaller scale and used it to help with his diving and tumbling activities. He formed a company to build trampolines for sale and used a variant of the Spanish word trampolin (diving board) as a trademark. So began a new and exciting sport.

In the USA, trampolines were quickly introduced into school physical education programs and were also used in private entertainment centres. However, following a number of injuries and law suits caused by insufficient supervision and inadequate training, trampolining is now mostly conducted in specialist gyms with certified trainers. Elsewhere in the world, the sport was most strongly adopted in Europe and former Soviet Union.

The International Trampolining Federation became part of the International Gymnastics Federation in 1999. Since trampolining became an Olympic sport in 2000, many more countries have started developing programmes and China is already producing very competitive athletes.