Young local athlete Olivia Pease dreams big
By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., May. 2, 2013
Olivia Pease can often be seen flying in the air in her backyard, as she practices her trampoline skills. The World Wakeboarding Association is petitioning to be in the Olympics, and Olivia wants to be there competing in the sport when that happens.
“Wakeboarding is like water skiing on a snow board,” said Esther Jagodzinski, Olivia’s mom. She and her husband, John Pease, are big supporters of their ambitious daughter.
Olivia is 13 years old and is a United States American Gymnastics level 10 trampoline and tumbling champion for New England.
Last year, Olivia took up wakeboarding at Brownstone Discovery Park in Portland, Conn., and won prizes for the women’s division in two “railjams” at the park over the summer. “We became aware that Olivia was getting good when tourists at the park were taking pictures of her,” Jagodzinski said. The family has recently returned from Deerfield Beach’s Ski Rixen Park in Florida, where Olivia competed in the Kicker Contest and placed second in the women’s division by performing a back flip over a 4-and-a-half-foot jump.
“I want to win the ‘Queen of Wake’ title and become a pro wake-boarder,” Olivia said.
She has won the Presidents Physical Fitness award for the last three years at Ashford School – where she is in eighth grade - and placed first last year in the regional Hershey Track and Field 1600 meter. In addition, she participates in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” online program and logs her activity hours.
Olivia is often practicing new maneuvers with her friend Grace Balogh on the backyard trampoline. Grace, who is 8 years old, was state champion in level 5 trampoline competitions last year. Trampoline practice develops balance, spatial awareness and core strength.
Jagodzinski has a lot of confidence that her daughter will stay safe in this challenging sport. “She knows exactly what she is capable of doing. Because of her trampoline and gymnastics background, she knows how to go down. Olivia has strong enough leg muscles so that she won’t have to depend on her knees to cushion her landing,” she said.
Olivia is pushing herself to reach higher levels by practicing on the trampoline three times a week for two-hour sessions and tumbling one hour a week. “I like the thrill and excitement of doing a new trick,” she said.
On April 28, Olivia took first place for the New England Trampoline Level 10 with a score of 56.6. This qualifies her for the U.S.A. National Trampoline Championships to be held in Kansas City, Mo., in July.