Steven Gluckstein is a trampoline gymnast who announced his retirement from the sport in early November 2016. Among Gluckstein’s many accomplishments are an Olympic appearance (2012), a Pan American Games silver medal, six individual U.S. titles, five synchro U.S. titles and six world championship appearances. Below is an open letter Gluckstein has written to his sport as he says farewell to competition.
To the sport of trampoline gymnastics,
I am officially announcing my retirement as a competitive athlete. I would like to thank you for the many blessings you have given me and for molding my life into what it is today.
|Steven Gluckstein looks on during the men's trampoline competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on Aug. 3, 2012 in London.|
You have given me so many opportunities that most people do not even dream of. Because of you, I have traveled to over 27 different countries. I now have friends across the globe whom I have stayed with and trained with. I learned Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. Friendships have been formed that span the sport of trampoline and beyond. Because of you, I have performed in front of thousands of people. Friendships have been made in the sport of trampoline and in other sports as well. I’ve met the president of the United States and sat in his chair inside the Oval Office of the White House. I’ve been blessed with grants to help pay for my college tuition. I’ve performed and spoken on national television.
Most importantly, because of you, trampoline, I met the love of my life. Through competitive trampoline, I met my wife Camilla, who lived 4,800 miles away, and who I would have otherwise never come in contact with.
Over 17 years competing in trampoline, I have learned a great deal. I have learned discipline – to listen when you want to speak. I learned discipline to do what needs to be done, such as homework, cleaning, stretching and conditioning, regardless of how you feel or what you would rather be doing.
I have learned to make sacrifices such as missing parties, time with friends, football games and school events, in order to put in the work I needed to receive all these great rewards you have given me. Because of you, trampoline, I have learned time management – to balance school, work, family, homework, training and traveling. I have learned so much about myself including how far I am capable of pushing myself when I’m tired.
I learned how to deal with success and glory, and how to deal with failure as well. Because of you, trampoline, I’ve learned how to deal with my nerves, fears and emotions and how to overcome them. Through years of competition, I have learned how to perform under pressure that now carries over into all aspects of my life.
The community that comes together because of you, trampoline, is remarkable. I have an army of support behind me to help celebrate my successes and to lift me up when I’m down. A community of sincerely kind and generous people trying to share their knowledge with anyone who shares the same passion as them.
I will forever be indebted to you, because you, trampoline, have given me a wonderful life full of all these blessings. You have kept me out of trouble and helped pave the way for the rest of my life. I will try my very best to give back what you have given to me, and help the next generation receive as many opportunities and lessons as I have had.