INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- The newest Olympic discipline has its first U.S. Olympian.
Jennifer Parilla, 18, (Lake Forest, Calif.) earned the USA its first-ever trampoline spot at an Olympic Games. Parilla finished ninth at the 1999 World Championships, Sept. 24-26, in Sun City, South Africa.
“I am honored to have earned the United States an opportunity to compete in trampoline at the 2000 Olympic Games. This will really help the sport gain exposure in the United States, and I am excited to be a part of it,” Parilla said.
Parilla has been trampolining in Southern California since she was five years old with her coach Robert Null. She graduated from high school in 1999 and is delaying her enrollment in college to concentrate on training.
Other countries that qualified female trampolinists for the 2000 Olympic Games are Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Great Britain, Uzbekistan, Canada, and the Czech Republic. The FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) has determined that only one athlete per country will be allowed to compete in Sydney.
The top 10 teams from this year’s World Championships automatically qualify for the 2000 Olympic Games. The FIG will select the remaining two countries based on other criteria.
USA Gymnastics will forward Parilla’s name to the United States Olympic Committee for final approval as the female trampoline representative on the U.S. Olympic Team.
In men’s trampoline, Ryan Weston (Chubbuck, Idaho) narrowly missed automatically qualifying an U.S. men’s spot at the Olympic Games by finishing 19th in World Championships rankings, and 13th in the Olympic selection rankings. Further men’s selection will be determined following the announcement from the FIG for the additional spots at the Olympic Games.
Trampoline is a new discipline in the 2000 Olympic Games within the sport of gymnastics. The women’s qualifications and final competition will be on Sept. 22 and the men’s qualifications and final will take place Sept. 23 at the Sydney SuperDome.