World Age Group Championships in trampoline in St. Petersburg, Russia, was truly a world championship. Countries from every continent but Antarctica competed.
Ramona’s Ryan Roberts held his own in the competitions. He finished 10th in the world in the double mini and synchronized trampoline events, and he came in 27th in the individual trampoline competition.
The USA came in second in the overall competition with 12 medals. Russia won the event with 31 medals.
Roberts said that the spectators were mostly from Russia, Britain, Brazil and Australia and were very polite. He did not get many opportunities to mingle with the locals.
“Not many people spoke English,” he said. “If you wanted to buy something, you had to point at it. We went through a wrong door on a tour and they yelled at us in Russian. We didn’t know what they said, but we knew that they were not happy.”
Roberts did not learn much Russian on the trip. “I learned to say “no” and “thank you.”
When asked the biggest adjustment he had to make, he didn’t hesitate with his answer: “The time change. I was tired the entire trip with jet lag.”
The best part of the trip for Roberts was, “Meeting athletes from around the world and trading shirts with them.”
Roberts traded his USA shirts for shirts from Japan, Portugal, Denmark, Russia, Australia, Mexico and other countries.
He didn’t get to mingle with the locals much but observed that, “They were not poor people. They were typical big city people. Everything was at a fast pace. They were all in a hurry and they all wore big coats.”
Roberts did not observe any tension left over from the Cold War. “The judging was not biased towards one country or against another,” he said. “It did seem that the judges got easier in their judging in the later rounds of the competition.”
Roberts and the rest of the American competitors are true amateurs. As a matter of fact, the trip cost them money. The athletes had to raise the money for their travel, food and lodging, and they even had to pay for their gear for the trip. The trip cost Ryan well over $4,200. His mother also made the trip and that ran the tab even higher.
Was it worth it? “Yes, I would do it all again. I am planning to compete for a spot on next year’s World’s in France.”
Roberts still has another year of age group competition before he has to compete in the senior elite division. Only one trampoline event is an Olympic sport. Double mini and synchronized are not Olympic events.
The Ramona High athlete had praise for his club coaches, Doug Boger and Glen Wilson of Bounce, Calif. He is also thankful for all of the support, sacrifices and contributions that his mom, Tracy, and his father, Dan, and sister, Brianna, have made.
Roberts is willing to make a presentation to service clubs if they are interested.
“I could put together a video and a PowerPoint presentation,” he said.
Interested clubs may contact Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Roberts has traveled far and represented Ramona and the USA well. Hopefully his next international competition will be in warmer weather. Finishing in the top in the world is hot.