Nicole Ahsinger has sealed her spot as the sole U.S. women’s trampoline representative at next month’s Tokyo Olympics.
Until earlier this month, the U.S. was in jeopardy of not qualifying in the event for the first time since trampoline, a discipline of gymnastics, made its Olympic debut in 2000.
Then, at the final World Cup of a two-year series, Ahsinger earned the bronze medal and moved high enough on the Olympic qualification ranking list to secure the U.S. an Olympic quota.
Her medal in Brescia, Italy, was the first for any individual U.S. trampolinist in nearly three years and first for a U.S. woman since Charlotte Drury‘s World Cup gold in 2014.
The athlete who fills the Olympic spot would be determined by adding each athlete’s two highest preliminary-round scores out of three competitions.
With a low score from last month’s Elite Challenge (66.34 points), where she was ninth, Ahsinger was sitting in fifth among eligible athletes after Brescia, where her prelims score was 101.845 — the highest of any American in the first two events. She needed a high score at the final competition, the USA Gymnastics Championships.
Ahsinger, 23, won Friday’s prelims with a 102.18 total, knocking out her Elite Challenge result and giving her a combined score of 204.025, easily winning the standings in the Olympic race.
Drury, the 2014 U.S. champion and only American woman to win a trampoline World Cup, totaled 196.54 points between the Brescia World Cup and national championships. She was a favorite for the 2016 Olympics but broke her foot at the final qualifying competition, making way for Ahsinger. She will be named the Olympic alternate.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could make the Olympics one time,” Ahsinger told Olympics.com. “And, then, I made it twice.”
Tokyo will feel familiar for Ahsinger, who is well-versed in multi-sport competitions.
At age 16, she competed at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, where she was fifth.
Two years later she went to Rio as the youngest U.S. Olympic trampolinist in history and placed 15th of 16.
Ahsinger won the silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and is currently ranked 11th in the world.
She will become only the second American to compete trampoline at two Olympics.
Aliaksei Shostak was recently awarded an Olympic berth in men’s trampoline.
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