Stuart Whitaker is a sports reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times and a general reporter for the Bay News.

Olympics: Waihi Olympian Dylan Schmidt confident of success

Add a comment
New Zealand trampolinist Dylan Schmidt, 19, with his loyal dog Cookie. Photo/File
New Zealand trampolinist Dylan Schmidt, 19, with his loyal dog Cookie. Photo/File

Waihi teen Dylan Schmidt will make history at the Rio Olympics.

Dylan, 19, who is now a student at the University of Auckland Business School, is the first ever trampolinist to represent New Zealand at the Olympics.

He was among the New Zealand athletes who were chosen to model the Olympic uniform when it was first released.

Getting his own New Zealand uniform a few weeks later upped the ante.

"It's always been real, but getting the kit and things like that makes it a bit more exciting," he says.

Dylan arrived in Rio on Friday but it won't be a totally new experience.

He competed in the Olympics test event in April, winning a silver medal.

"That competition included the top three from world championships and everyone else who was trying to qualify for the Olympics, so it was a pretty strong field."

He also competed in two world cup events in June in Italy and Switzerland.

"It was a funny build up to be honest - I actually had my appendix out two weeks before that, so I wasn't really training. It wasn't really results oriented, I was just more getting back into it - but I ended up making the final in the second one."

In a normal week, he trains on the trampoline 16 hours over six days, as well as spending an hour or two at the gym twice a week.

Competition is a far cry from the back yard trampolining many Kiwis will recall from their childhood.

"People don't really know what it is, but once they've seen it - wow, it's pretty crazy - it changes their mind!"

Each competition consists of two routines, one easy, one hard. Each routine contains 10 skills. Competitors are judged on difficulty and execution.

"It's more about a style that you have. You can change the order of the skills but most of the time there are stock standard routines."

Dylan says he's focussed on simply doing his best in Rio.

"I don't go into a competition with the goal of a gold medal in mind," he says. "If you're thinking about the outcomes it doesn't help much when you're competing; it's about doing the best I can and gaining as much experience as I can.

"I can't really expect gold being so young. My goal is to come in the top eight, then at the next Olympics aim for the podium."

Dylan competed at the world championships when he was 12 and, despite suffering torn ligamnts won his age group.

That was when he decided to put his other sports - rugby, tennis and hockey - on hold and set his sights on the Olympics.

The Olympic Games begin on August 5 and the trampoline competition starts on August 12.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 26 Sep 2016 18:23:04 Processing Time: 560ms