Schmidt Wins New Zealand’s First Olympic Medal in Trampoline
Dylan Schmidt became the first New Zealand athlete to win an Olympic medal in trampoline when he bounced to gold at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games on Friday.
“It’s pretty cool,” the 17-year-old said. “There aren’t really words to describe how I’m feeling right now. It’s pretty crazy. Honestly I didn’t think I would get it, but I’ve trained hard, I’m just stoked.”
The Kiwi posted a final score of 57.340 to beat Liu Changxin of China by a margin of 0.405 points.
“It’s pretty crazy that I have won the first medal,” Schmidt added. “It’s what I always wanted to do. Not many trampoliners (in New Zealand) have done really well at international scale and to be that guy is pretty cool.
“I thought he (Liu) did it, I thought he was a bit higher than me, but when I saw my name come up first it was a bit crazy. Honestly I thought he had done a good routine so I wasn’t expecting it. It was close, very close.”
Schmidt, in fourth place after the two qualification rounds, saved his best until last, receiving the final’s joint highest score for both difficulty (15.400) and execution (24.600).
“Going into finals not in first place sometimes is a good thing. Going in first, you’ve got to retain that position, but going in fourth you have something to strive for, something to fight for. I think that’s what I like best, I like having that pressure to have to do even better.”
His mother, Jen Schmidt, was overwhelmed by her son’s performance and hugged him after his win.
“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “I have seen him training so hard night and day and I know that he deserves the gold. He had the dream, the desire and the vision. You see only him in the few minutes he is performing but I have seen him sweat it out all 365 days. I am a proud mother today.”
Photo: Getty Images