COLORADO SPRINGS — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems, and well-known spots.
This isn’t your average backyard trampoline, and this isn’t your typical athlete.
Adventures with Alan got to go to hang out at Stars Gymnastics with Ryan Maccagnan, an Olympic hopeful for Paris 2024.
Ryan got into gymnastics from a young age, his mother owns the gym that he currently trains at.
“I’ve been in the gym pretty much all of my life," said Ryan. "I’ve been jumping on the trampolines ever since I was able to walk really, and just fell in love with it from there.”
The 16-year-old Colorado Springs native is currently ranked fourth in the world, after barely missing the podium at the most recent junior world championships.
He reached that achievement on the trampoline, which is one of two events that he competes in, the other is the mini-tramp. Ryan can soar to dizzying heights after only a few jumps, and from there, it’s a series of twists and turns done with picture-perfect form and precision.
"That feeling of being in the air... just sending your body in different positions, in different ways, is so nice," said Ryan.
His coach tells me he’s like a cat and always finds his feet. She says watching him you wouldn't know he's on the mend after suffering a serious back injury in January. She went on to tell me he's about 75% where he should be.
After we were able to see what Ryan can do, I got to learn some trampoline skills from the master himself.
As a retired collegiate diver, I had a few tricks up my sleeve. At first, I was having a blast with Ryan on this adventure, but after a few somersaults, I was worn out by the end.
Ryan on the other hand was just getting warmed up.
Ryan and his coach tell me the competition for the men’s trampoline team will be fierce, with only one gymnast expected to represent the U.S. in Paris.
Even with only one Olympic team spot available, Ryan has a real shot of competing on the biggest stage in the world.
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