Over nine hours of riding, two charter buses, 106 Bulldogs, over 100 families and friends and one common goal: team success at the 2017 World Jump Rope Championship at the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
The five-day competition included 17 different speed and freestyle events. The first two days highlighted all junior competitors ages 14 and younger as well as speed events for all age divisions. Competitors ages 15 and older were then put to the test for their freestyle events on day 3 and 4. The final day - the Grand World Championship - showcased the fastest jumpers and best freestyle routines in the world.
Throughout each long competition day, most jumpers become tired and fatigued, and misses begin to occur more and more often. However, the Bulldogs got stronger and stronger as the days became longer and the events became more challenging, which truly speaks volumes to our strength as a team and training philosophy. The Bulldogs won the highest percentage of possible awards in the events that involved the most number of people. Notably, the team took home gold in both junior and senior team show for the seventh straight year.
Team success in the vision of the Bulldog program can take on multiple deeper meanings, including success in building relationships with people from all over the world, and strengthening bonds between teammates. With 30 countries represented at the event, the Bulldogs were exposed to a variety of jumping styles. The Bulldogs have developed their own unique style of jumping over the past 30 years and focus on performing clean, polished routines at competition to represent the sport in the best possible way.
For the past two years, World Jump Rope has split up the competition into the World Jump Rope Championship and the Pan American Championship. Many younger Bulldogs have competed at the Pan American Championship, held in Orlando, Florida while the older team members traveled to France and Portugal to compete internationally. Since the World Jump Rope Championship was held in Orlando this year, our team was united again and thus stronger. As many of our jumpers can attest, one of the most rewarding experiences from competing is not winning awards; it is cheering on the teammates who have been by your side during every step of the training process. Through the peer teaching model, our older jumpers are empowered to teach the younger jumpers throughout the year and help them reach their potential. This strong sense of community is a key aspect of the Bulldog Way.
We are so proud of every jumper who represented the Bouncing Bulldogs at competition, and we are beyond grateful for such gracious support from families and friends of the program. Most importantly, we are thankful for the team members who did not compete this year because the youngest jumpers are the key to our program and continue to remind us why we work hard and give back.