Coming from the Land Down Under to Jump
In this year's Jump Rope competition at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, there was one team who traveled all the way from Australia! The Jazzy Jumpers, coached by Lisa Buchanan, traveled nearly 30 hours altogether just compete at this event. Buchanan said the long flight is worth it though.
"It's different to Australia," she explained. "We only have two competitions a year in Australia, States and Nationals, so this is another chance for them to compete and they get to see a different stlye of skipping. And they get to meet other people as well."
With such a long distance to travel and with a 15 hour time difference, Buchanan said the adjustment is difficult but the athletes are taking it in stride. She said they all left a few days early so they would have time to adjust.
Buchanan explained that Jump Roping isn't as big of a sport in Australia so they make sure they attend the AAU Junior Olympic Games. It's the only event they feel is worth traveling such a long way for. They were introduced to the AAU Junior Olympic Games when it was in Des Moines back in 2009 and followed that up with the one in 2010 in Hampton Roads. Buchanan thought bringing the team back to Des Moines, where it all began, was a good idea to get prepared for other competitions.
"We decided to come again just to give these girls a bit more experience before they try for Worlds in two years time because we have the world championships in 2016," she explained. "We didn't feel that we were quite ready this year to go, so we thought this would be a good experience for them and we thought this would sort of build up to that."
The Jazzy Jumpers Australia had jumpers ranging in age from 10 to 13 years old. Thanks for taking the long trek here and we can't wait to see what kind of talent the Jazzy Jumpers bring the the AAU Junior Olympic Games next time they come!