Will Rhea: Jumping at Worlds

I was very lucky to be chosen as a member of the U.S. Junior barefoot team for the 2014 Worlds in Australia. I had only competed in one tournament, but I learned to jump inverted at the WBC, and that became my ticket to Australia. I really want to thank Swampy and the ABC for taking a chance on me, and giving me the opportunity to compete at Worlds. The entire experience was amazing. It was by far the most fun trip I have ever had.

Having just learned to jump inverted in October, I was very nervous when Swampy told me that I had to land a jump at Worlds. I landed two jumps in the first round, and thankfully made it to the second round. On the ride back to the condo, Swampy told me that I had to land an 18 meter jump for the team. I started to get nervous, but inside I knew I could do it. All I could do was pray that God would help me do my best, and that helped me not to be so nervous.

Thankfully, I landed my first jump in the second round. I heard everyone cheering, and found out that my jump was exactly 18 meters even! This gave me a huge boost of confidence, and with Swampy’s coaching, I landed my third jump at 19 meters even! I had made it to the finals!

I was the first jumper on the water in the finals. I landed all three of my jumps, and the biggest one was 18.7 meters. I was very happy to finish strong, and I sat down to watch the other jumpers. After everyone was finished, Ben Groen came up to congratulate me on winning a bronze medal. I was very surprised and excited at the same time. It was the greatest feeling, and I think that was the best part of the trip for me. I will remember my first Worlds forever!

By Will Rhea

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