This week sees World Champions Dylan Schmidt and Bronwyn Dibb defend their titles in Birmingham at the 2023 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships.
Dylan left home in June and is still on the road, having done four world cups, British nationals, a training camp in Canada, a bit of travelling in the United States, and setting up base camp in the UK.
“She’s been a big one. It’s been a challenge keeping the body fit, strong, and as niggle free as possible without my team from NZ but having a plan leading into the trip to deal with this has helped and being disciplined, smart, and organized has kept me on track.
“Being away from my family and friends and my dog Taco has also been tough but keeping busy and having things to do has kept it all good.” Dylan says.
Meanwhile, double-mini world champion Bronwyn Dibb continues to push the boundaries of her sport, training a potential new world record pass—a full-in half-out straight, pike triple-back with a difficulty of 9.2 (current female record is 8.5)—if she goes on to compete this at worlds, she will be the first female to do so.
“I got to try the pass at the world cup in Palm Beach – unfortunately I did not land it but I’m excited that I was so close and will give it another go sometime soon.” Bronwyn says.
Will that sometime soon be at worlds? We’ll see this week.
Injuries and short competition lead ups this year, has meant that Bronwyn has had to find other ways to prepare for competitions, and the High Performance Sport New Zealand’s Tailored Athlete Pathway Support (TAPS) has opened up many support avenues for Bronwyn to work through her challenges this year.
“I have found other ways to prepare myself by improving my mental skills, and the use of imagery – it’s like training in my brain when I can’t be on the trampoline.” Bronwyn reports.
“Life throws many curve balls but my philosophy is that there is always a solution to the problem – if my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it”. Bronwyn adds.
The championships will also see the first trampoline Olympic births allocated for Paris 2024, of which Tokyo Olympian Madaline (Maddie) Davidson will also be gunning for.
“The two [Olympic] qualification years are always massive and the pace of qualification always makes you feel like there isn’t enough time in the year.
Maddie has been balancing her Olympic qualification pathway with a double degree in marketing, and strategy and entrepreneurship, after seven years of part-time study.
“With an increase in travel, and smaller periods at home in between, I had to be really onto it in terms of self-management, organisation, and balancing everything that comes with a hectic schedule. But completing my university degree has been a 7 year part-time study, so it was very cool to tick this box off.
“I also hit a PB difficulty routine this year. It has been massive training a three triple routine, and wasn’t a milestone I thought I was going to be hitting in this cycle, so it was really exciting when I did.” Maddie beams.
Dylan and Maddie go into world champs ranked 3rd and 17th respectively. They will need to make finals (top 8) at the championships to earn New Zealand a spot at the Paris 2024 Olympics. Failing that, they will need to be ranked high enough from the five Olympic qualifying world cup events, the last two of which are February and March, to gain the last remaining available positions up to a total of 16 competitors per event (men’s and women’s), qualifying to the Olympics.
We wish Dylan, Bronwyn, Maddie, and the rest of the team all the best with their competitions this week.
The 2023 Trampoline Gymnastics Championships kick off at 11pm Thursday (NZT) – see the full schedule on the FIG website.