The 2012 London Olympics are right around the corner, with the Games set to begin in late July.The world’s best athletes will be competing in 302 events in 26 different sports, ranging from canoeing to basketball to judo.
In the weeks leading up to the opening ceremony on July 27th, we’ll introduce you to some of the more obscure Olympic events. Today, it’s all about the acrobatic grace of trampoline.
The high-flying trampoline is relatively new to the Olympics. Trampoline made its debut as an event in the 2000 Sydney Games.
Two trampolines are situated next to each other on the stage, separated by 2 meters. Each trampoline is 5.05 meters long and 2.91 meters wide.
These aren't your ordinary backyard trampolines, though. The bed is made from nylon or string material that is less than 6 millimeters thick, and is attached to the frame with more than 100 steel springs.
There are two rounds in the competition — a qualification round and the finals. Eight men and eight women advance to their respective final after performing a routine of set skills performed in a precise order.
A trampolinist first gains the necessary altitude on the trampoline (upwards of 25 feet!) until a routine can begin. The trampolinist gets 10 bounces to perform moves until the routine is complete, and is allowed to land on their feet, sitting down, lying face down or lying face up. After 10 bounces, the jumper must land and hold their position for three seconds.
There are nine judges to score various aspects of a performance. Five judges award points for execution, two score the degree of difficulty and two oversee the contest. The highest and lowest execution scores are dropped and the three remaining scores are added to the single difficulty rating.
Some signature skills include the Barani (forward somersault with a half-twist), the Randolph (forward somersault with 2.5 twists), the Fliffus (double somersault with at least a half-twist) and the Triffus (triple somersault with at least a half-twist).
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.