Getting "randy" on the trampoline

LONDON Sun Aug 5, 2012 7:14am EDT

Katherine Driscoll of Britain competes in women's gymnastics trampoline qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012. This picture was taken using multiple exposures. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Katherine Driscoll of Britain competes in women's gymnastics trampoline qualification in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012. This picture was taken using multiple exposures.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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LONDON (Reuters) - If you've overheard the trampolinists at the London Games talking about a randy, rudolph and a barani you might be forgiven for wondering who is this amorous, red-nosed reindeer hungry for a spicy Indian meal?

Although randy is a colloquial English term for the amorously inclined, in trampoline-speak it describes one of the various moves in the set of 10 skills performed consecutively in a routine by the muscular men and women who have been fighting it out in amazing aerial battles at the Games this week.

A "randolph" or randy is a front somersault with 2-1/2 twists, while a rudy is a front somersault with 1-1/2 twists and a barani is a forward somersault with a half-twist rather than a biryani from your local Indian restaurant.

"Most skills are named after what they are," former British trampoline champion Paull Smyth told Reuters, but he said some have been named for their inventors and came out of the sport's early roots in the United States.

A "miller" for example is a triple twisting double back somersault named after 1960s and 1970s world champion Wayne Miller from the USA and a breathtaking part of Canadian Olympic gold medalist Rosannagh MacLennan's qualifying routine on Saturday.

Devised in the 1930s at the University of Iowa, the first modern trampoline was initially used as a training tool for tumblers, astronauts and athletes.

However, it grew in popularity to such an extent that in 1964 the first ever Trampoline World Championships were held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Since making its Olympic debut at the Sydney Games in 2000, the sport has consistently featured amazing displays of acrobatic excellence, with athletes jumping to heights of up to 10 meters.

(Reporting by Paul Casciato)

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