Unleash the Thrill: Trampoline Gymnastics for the Adventurous

Noemi Romero (Albacete, 2000) and David Vega (Barcelona, 1999) made history just three months ago by becoming the first Spaniards to qualify for the Olympic Games in the trampoline gymnastics discipline. A sport that, since its appearance in Sydney 2000, had not had a Spanish presence. Both, who also share a love life, talk to MARCA about what it means to be in Paris.

Question: How do you feel about being the first Spanish Olympians in the trampoline discipline?

David Vega. Very happy to have been first and also super proud that we both qualified. This is a very great achievement for trampoline gymnastics in Spain. Furthermore, the result has not been only thanks to us, for many generations of trampoline gymnastics we have worked hard and the intention was to get to where we have reached the Olympic qualification and we have finally achieved it.

Noemi Romero. Furthermore, sport, being a minority and without much visibility, is a boost for the discipline.

Q. Do you think that having Spanish representation will make more people follow the competition in Paris?

Noemi Romero. Completely. We have a lot of people who are asking us for the date to put it on their agenda. You already know that on August 2 we will be competing. David in the afternoon, and me in the morning.

David Vega. Being on television is promoting sports. In the end it will attract boys and girls to practice trampoline gymnastics. We have been practicing it since we were little, we know that it is a minority sport and we want to contribute everything we can so that the sport grows.

Q. Without Spanish Olympic references, how did you start practicing it?

Noemi Romero. I did karate when I was five years old. The following year the teacher got sick on the first day and a substitute came and put a mini tramp in class. I tried it, I liked it and I signed up. I started at school and in a competition the national coach spoke with my parents to see if they would agree to take me from Monday to Saturday to the Training Center. My parents accepted and until today.

David Vega. In my case, one day my aunt called my mother because my cousin was going to compete next to my house in a Catalan cup in trampoline gymnastics. We went to see it and when I saw the jumps they hit I fell in love with the sport. I told my mother to sign me up. After months I rose in level until the CAR caught me. And well, until today, thanks to my cousin I managed to join the CAR, who is also now my second coach.

Q. They perform jumps of about 20 or 30 seconds where everything is done to the millimeter. How do they work on the mental and physical aspects?

David Vega. It is a sport in which you need a lot of concentration, to be clear about what you are going to do. And in the physical aspect you need to have a lot of explosive strength, which is what helps you support.

Noemi Romero. On a psychological level we also work a lot on visualization, due to the issue of blockages, fears… We work on visualization a lot. Helps isolate you from external noise. If you have seen a bad fall, you have to be able to erase it from your mind.

Q. In those seconds that you are in the air, what goes through your mind?

Noemi Romero. You would be surprised, but it gives you time to think about a lot of things. You can keep in mind the exercises you can do and process which one will give you the most points for difficulty… We are very mentally agile.

Q. Going back to the day you qualified for the Games. What were those minutes like?

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David Vega. There was a lot of tension. First Noe got it and then it was my turn to compete. In the semi-final there were a lot of nerves, a lot of people made mistakes… And well, enduring that tension I managed to come in twelfth. Noe also came in 12th position. They told me that we had both achieved it, but I didn’t believe it because it is something that you are looking for your whole life. It was difficult for me to assimilate and the judge even had to explain it to me.

Noemi Romero. I experienced it from the stands because in my preliminary the day before I broke a toe. I was left out of the semifinal and although I already had many points, it depended on the other Spanish. When I knew I was inside, they started. Many guys failed, David too and I thought I had lost my place. But suddenly people started congratulating me on both of them, I saw posts on Twitter and that’s how we found out.

Q. You also share a romantic life, how are you going to experience the Olympic event in the city of love?

David Vega. The truth is very good, going together is an even more special date because it is going to Paris to the Olympic Games with the person with whom you share your life, with the person you love. For me it is a gift to have qualified with her, it will be an experience that I will remember all my life no matter what happens.

Q. What is the goal for Paris?

Noemi Romero. Go to the final. We are 16 gymnasts in total, both girls and boys, trying to be among the top eight to enter the final and get an Olympic diploma. Then in the end you never know, because in our sport there can be many surprises.

David Vega. In my case, being among the top eight and then in the final anything can happen because even the smallest detail can change everything. Entering the final would already be an achievement and well, if it happens, give it my all and hold on until the end.

Q. To do the exercises you visualize what you are going to do in the air. Have you also visualized yourself in the opening ceremony along the Seine?

Noemi Romero. The other day we started to see the official Spanish kit and I already visualized myself wearing the skirt along the Seine, with a lot of people and all the spectacle. I’m really looking forward to that moment.

Q. What stands out most about your discipline?

Noemi Romero. I think it is a super impressive discipline, the fact of seeing how a person is managing their body, playing with gravity as they want in the air.

David Vega. Even I am surprised by the control we have, our ability and it seems that what we do is something natural and in truth it is not, but we are capable of doing it.

Q. What would you say to those children who will see you on August 2?

Noemi Romero. I would tell you that trying trampoline gymnastics is almost mandatory, because it is a sensation that is not natural. Nobody teaches you how to jump twenty feet. You feel like you are flying and that feeling is brutal.

David Vega. As it is, it is a sport that is not natural. So for the simple fact, for the sensations it will give you, you have to try it. In addition, it will give you new skills and benefits for spatial orientation and in the long term it will help you have greater control of your body.

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