As everyone knows, jump rope is done by mostly everyone, and is a sport that is pretty popular all over the world, but jump rope has not always been an easy sport. During the past few decades, jump rope has gained popularity and interest. USA Jump Rope (USAJR) was founded in 1995, but even before this founding, jump rope had made its move. Before 1995, a jump rope event called Double Dutch became popular due to the American Double Dutch League that was created in the late ‘70’s. Double Dutch was the original event performed by jump ropers, but soon enough, new activities like single rope and long rope developed, and introduced themselves through camps and workshops. At these camps and workshops, representatives of the International Rope Skipping Organization (IRSO) taught and inspired people around the world to get into the sport of jump rope. Along with the IRSO, the World Rope Skipping Federation (WRSF) made its own attempts to advertise rope skipping and built its place in the world in the ‘90’s.
To bring all the ideas and components of jump rope together in the jump rope world, the members of different associations were invited to create rules that were fair and workable, so that they could hold a World Invitational Rope Skipping Championship in 1993 and 1994. This discussion led the two main organizations, the IRSO and the WRSF to arrange a national governing team for the sport of jump rope. As the USAJR Planning Committee continued to work towards a merger and a national tournament structure, the commanders of this sport were visited by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to invite them to participate in the Aerobics portion of the AAU Junior Olympic Games held in 1995. By being a part of this, it allowed jump rope to be officially accepted into the AAU Family of Sports. At a similar time, the international group governing jump rope was created, and the USA became a founding member.
As jump rope has developed over the years, many people have been very interested in the sport. I was very fortunate to be able to meet with Angela Guglielmino, from the jump rope team, Foothill Force, who attended the USAJR National Championship, which is every jump roper’s dream. Luckily, she accepted my request of interviewing her, and she answered a few questions about her experience.
Angela is a very hardworking girl that started jumping rope at the young age of five, after being inspired by her sister’s passion for the sport that left her in awe. From five, she continued her love for jump rope, until the age of seventeen, which she is now. Currently, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a competitor in the United States National Championship. Not only that, this was her fifth time competing at this competition. In the past, she had never managed to showcase a clean performance, but this year, she did, and it landed her in first place in Female Single Rope Freestyle. She stated, “I felt very honored and excited to be able to compete at the 2018 USAJR National Championship. This was my fifth time at Nationals, and from experience, I knew that I could look forward to seeing the boundaries of the sport pushed.”
Although it seems jump rope can be easy once you get the hang of it, it is a very brutal sport. Even with extremely hard work, Angela was still very anxious because she only had one chance to get it right. To make this job a little less tough and to prepare for the competition, Angela continuously attended the two practices that her team held during the week. Then, as it got closer to the competition, she obtained more practice time at a local YMCA.
While she is always working hard, she likes to spend time for herself as well, so aside from competitive jump rope, her favorite element to do in jump rope is to make up and create her own tricks. Through Angela, I learned that being awarded for her work really made her stronger, and she even said, “Receiving a first place medal in my freestyle will definitely help me in the rest of my jump rope career. This is mostly because I am now more confident in my abilities, and honestly believe that my hard work/persistence can give me the results that I have always yearned for.” Starting from a little girl with big dreams, she has grown into a big girl with even bigger dreams. In the future, Angela hopes to continue her jump rope career, as it is an integral part of her life, and she also has a few other dreams like becoming a world champion, starting a collegiate jump rope team, jumping for Cirque Du Soliel, and becoming a coach.