Trampoline is still in its youth as a part of the Olympic program, having made its debut during at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Thus, perhaps 19-year old Savannah Vinsant and 22-year old Steven Gluckstein could be the perfect candidates to bring Team USA its first-ever Olympic medal in the sport.
"Team USA has never had a male trampoline gymnast in the final at the Olympics,” Gluckstein said after podium training Thursday afternoon. “So I hope I can be in the top eight and qualify for the finals."
Gluckstein will jump into the competition Thursday at North Greenwich Arena, a venue that has become quite familiar. The New Jersey native – a three-time national champion – competed at the arena in a test event in January. He used podium training to get used to the arena’s lights, floor and general atmosphere.
“I already competed here,” Gluckstein said. “So that was easy; I feel comfortable."
Gluckstein especially appreciates the opportunity to go for gold. He’s been waiting for it for four years after nearly missing a chance to compete at the 2008 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Vinsant poses a formidable threat on the women’s side. The 19-year-old comes into the Games with momentum. She was the 2011 and 2012 U.S. national champion, and swept the three qualification events to make the Olympic Team. Vinsant also won a bronze medal at the 2012 Taiyuan World Cup to become the first U.S. woman to medal at a world cup in trampoline since 1996.
Now she has the opportunity to complete another first: a trampoline Olympic medal for Team USA.