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Bethesda teen competing in Azerbaijan for double mini trampoline world championship

Tomás Minc turns 17 on Tuesday and his birthday wish is to return to the U.S. with a gold medal.

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — Most kids torment their parents with high-flying shenanigans: leaping off couches, jumping out of trees or vaulting off a playground jungle gym -- it's just  rite of passage. However, not many of those kids can harness their no-fear attitude into a world class athletic career.

A Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School junior, Tomás Minc, can trace his trampoline roots back to when he was three years old and his mother enrolled them in a "Mommy & Me" class.  

He says from that young age his mother and other people in the family orbit realized Minc had incredible "air awareness" and they helped to develop his skills on a trampoline. 

To celebrate his 17th birthday (Nov. 16), Minc traveled halfway around the world to Baku, Azerbaijan for the 2021 Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships. The competition begins Thursday and lasts through Sunday. He hopes to return to the U.S. with a gold medal. 

“I like the way you get your adrenaline pumping and the speed it takes and the power you need,” Minc said. 

As an athlete competing in the double mini trampoline event, Minc explained the basics of the competition.

The athlete will run quickly down a long runway mat and vault onto the front part of a rectangular-shaped trampoline. They'll bounce into the air performing a series of aerial tricks. Then, they'll land onto the back part of the same trampoline, perform another series of aerial maneuvers and land on a mat. 

“I started with the individual trampoline," Minc said. "But then I saw how much more hype this event was. Because it’s kind of fast-paced, it’s more of an adrenaline rush. Whereas individual trampoline, it’s a bit slower. I’m more of an all-action type guy.”

Minc has previously competed in individual trampoline competitions and won a gold medal in Russia in 2018 in a synchronized trampoline event, where he and another trampoline athlete performed a routine in unison.

Individual trampoline will be the only trampoline event represented in the gymnastics portion of the 2024 Paris Olympics. Synchronized trampoline was suggested by the international gymnastics governing body but rejected by the International Olympic Committee.

Minc puts in countless hours of training at the Dynamite Gymnastic Center in North Bethesda. He has to balance that with the class workload of a typical high school student.

“It can definitely be hard. I just have to time manage well. I can’t procrastinate on my homework,” Minc said. “When I’m in here I can’t think about my school work. And when I’m working at school I can’t think about in here.”

When asked whether or not he feels like trampoline athletes get the same level of respect as other gymnastic athletes, Minc didn't hesitate. 

“Definitely not," he said. "Usually when people hear about gymnastics they only think about the balance beam. The bars. That type of stuff. I think trampoline deserves all the respect those events do as well because I think it takes just as much physical and mental capacity on you.”  

You can view the results of the competition HERE.

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