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Jump rope team heads to Olympics

Posted July 28, 2008
Updated June 29, 2010

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— Fresh off capturing their fifth national title in rope jumping, members of the Bouncing Bulldogs team will head to China next month to perform for Olympic athletes and work to get their sport recognized as an Olympic event.

Ten members of the Bouncing Bulldogs will entertain athletes in the Olympic Village in Beijing, coach Ray Fredrick said.

"We are going to try and do three to four shows per day," Fredrick said. "If you are jumping in front of that many people, it's going to help promote the sport."

The Durham-based team has traveled around the world to promote rope jumping, including performances in Japan and South Africa and opening an event in San Francisco for Oscar-winning actress and former "American Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson.

The 107 members of the Bouncing Bulldogs have won five national championships, and Morgan Smith is the top-ranked girl jumper under age 14.

"Practice is all it takes – practice, practice, practice," she said.

Fredrick has been coaching champion jumpers for two decades.

"If you find a person with a good attitude (and) that's highly motivated, you can do amazing things with that person," he said.

The Bouncing Bulldogs are skipping an international competition for the chance to perform in Beijing. Their ultimate goal is to have rope jumping approved as an Olympic sport.

"There's just a lot to learn from athletes of that high caliber," team member Mary Hunter Benton said of being around Olympians.

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  • mewubbau Jul 28, 2008

    hooptie1964- The way I read, there are two posters that said they took away baseball for jump rope. It sounds to me like they are assuming jump rope was in the Olympics now. Hevans 1012 even owned up to thinking that way?! Anyhow, I agree with a few "sports" being ridiculous. How about trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics, and shooting?! But I still have to say that jump rope could be a sport in the Olympics. If we want to get technical, Merriam Webster says "physical activity engaged in for pleasure". There are a lot of things I don't like to call sports, but just because I don't like it, doesn't mean it's not a sport. And also if if I don't understand it, I have no right to make a judgement on if it is a sport or not. Regardless, to each it's own.

  • n2justice Jul 28, 2008

    Congrats to the team! What an honor to be invited to perform at the Olympics.

  • hooptie1964 Jul 28, 2008

    mewubbau -
    Nobody said they thought it was a sport already. Just saying (and agreeing) that this is not something that should be in the Olympics.

    It says in the article - "Their ultimate goal is to have rope jumping approved as an Olympic sport." This should never be considered and there are several "sports" that should probably be tossed.

  • Hevans1012 Jul 28, 2008

    Reading comprehension owned me. No it's not a sport but I'm still ticked this is the last year for baseball.

  • mewubbau Jul 28, 2008

    I haven't read anywhere that jump rope is in the Olympics. The article only states the Bulldog team is visiting and performing for the other Olympic athletes and just trying to make the sport more popular (and I am sure hoping maybe one day it will go to the Olympics.) It sounds like some of you think they have named jump rope as an Olympic sport already?! Did I read the article incorrectly?! As far as baseball, I agree it should be an Olympic sport. Poor choice to have it taken away. As far as jump rope...I think it could eventually get to the Olympics someday. Again, this is a totally bias opinion, as my family is involved in the sport and I am willing to admit that:-)

  • bigred841 Jul 28, 2008

    entertaining but I really dont think it should be an olympic event.

  • taurismo Jul 28, 2008

    Mom V

    Your child is no doubt one of the jumpers. But sorry, jumping rope hardly qualifies as a sport! The IOC took away baseball for jumprope? What are they, crazy? Who lined their pockets and how much did it cost?

  • Mom V Jul 28, 2008

    I have seen these kids perform and they are nothing short of amazing. They practice hard and are true athletics. Oh course most would rather see Multi-Millionares playing basketball than a bunch of klds that devote so much time and energy just for the love of the SPORT>

  • Z Man Jul 28, 2008

    In my book 'jumping rope' should not even be considered a 'sport'. What next? Olympic cigarette smoking? Tequila chugging? Watermelon seed spitting?

    Some people will call anything a 'sport'. Get a job.

  • Hevans1012 Jul 28, 2008

    So there is no longer Olympic baseball teams but there's jump rope?

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