Of all the Gymnastics disciplines, Trampoline gymnasts get the biggest air, thrilling audiences with their high-flying exploits and fully living up to the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius ("Higher, Faster, Stronger"). That's especially true for the "Higher" part: Athletes use the trampoline to catapult themselves to heights that can surpass 10 meters, the height of a three-story building. Without technological devices strapped to the body, Trampolining is as close as human beings get to flying solo.
Trampoline gymnasts compete in one of four categories: Individual Trampoline, Synchronised Trampoline, DoubleMini-trampoline and Tumbling. The best gymnasts often specialise in two of the four disciplines: Individual trampolinists often compete in Synchro as well, while some top Double Mini gymnasts take part in Tumbling at the World level. While it's not unheard of, very few will do Individual Trampoline as well as Double Mini or another combination of the two.
The relationship between gymnast and the trampoline is paramount, as one badly judged takeoff or landing can send a gymnast flying off the equipment and onto the mats below. Unlike in other forms of Gymnastics, a fall from the trampoline ends a routine, giving each exercise an additional element of suspense.
Since Trampoline became an Olympic sport in 2000, the Olympic Games have become the height of the four-year world Trampoline Gymnastics calendar. Trampoline Gymnastics (individual routines) is also part of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, first held in 2010.
First held in 1964 with 12 countries - and held biennially from 1970–98 - the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships are now held annually with the exception of Olympic years. The World Championships in the year prior to the Olympic Games serve as an important Olympic qualifiers.
Organised by the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, the first Junior World Championships are slated for 2019 and will be held as a trial event with possible permanent inclusion on the FIG calendar.
Following the Olympics, World Championships and continental events, the FIG World Cup competitions are the most popular events on the international calendar. The World Cups include Individual and Synchronised Trampoline events with Tumbling and Double Mini-trampoline competitions being optional. A point system determines the overall series victor. Beginning in 2019-20, the World Cup series for the first time will be part of the Olympic qualification contest.
As only the individual Trampoline events are featured at the Olympic Games, the Synchronised, Tumbling and Double Mini-trampoline events are part of the programme at The World Games, a quadrennial multi-event games for sports not in the Olympics.