Cockburn bounces back in time for key world championships
The last time three-time Olympic trampoline medallist Karen Cockburn was seen in action … well, she went missing in action.
She became violently ill the night between the preliminaries and the finals last month at the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara.
“It was really weird, it just kind of came out of nowhere,” said Cockburn. “I was feeling great, the preliminary went really well and I was looking forward to the finals. I woke up at 2 a.m. feeling really sick and I was vomiting for the next 10 hours. … I don’t know if it was food or a virus. I felt awful for the week after that.”
The good news is she’s back at peak health in time for this week’s world championships in Birmingham, England, where she and teammate Rosie MacLennan are hoping to finish in the top eight to secure two berths for the 2012 London Olympics.
MacLennan, a University of Toronto student, stepped up to win the gold at the Pan Ams.
“The fact we have two really strong girls who can do it takes the pressure off of each other in terms of earning an Olympic spot for Canada,” said Cockburn. “We’re great friends and great teammates. We compete against each other, but we’re friends first. I’ve known her since she was eight years old and it helps that we’re not against each other.” They’re expecting huge crowds in Birmingham, where trampoline is a big draw.
Competing in front of a full stadium can take Cockburn out of her out of comfort zone at times.
“I hadn’t been in front of a crowd like that since Beijing, which is the main reason I went to Pan Ams,” she said. “I got that experience in the prelims because it was nervewracking with a full stadium. It’s such a different feeling. That’s the one positive I can take out of Pan Ams.”
(The photo of Cockburn competing in Beijing was taken by Reuters)
Schliep Speaks: Priscilla Lopes-Schliep is getting up to speed both off the track and on it. She was the keynote speaker Saturday at the 16th for the JMSM Sports Business Conference in Montreal, where she addressed more than 200 students on how to overcome life’s hurdles and chase your dreams.