Six members of the award-winning jump rope team Hot Shots of Tennessee have earned spots on the inaugural U.S. National Jump Rope Team, according to a press release.
Olivia Byrd, William Pogue, Keren Rosen, Sara Smith, Delaney Talbert and Jacob Weatherford will represent the United States at the International Jump Rope Union World Championships in October, competing virtually in multiple freestyle and speed events. The jumpers are all current students or recent graduates of Franklin High School.
The path to the U.S. National Team began in July 2019, when the jumpers competed at the American Jump Rope Federation National Championship and the leaderboard started. Competition continued through February 2020, just before the world was plunged into the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the months that followed, the Hot Shots continued to train individually. Eventually they practiced together while wearing masks and following other COVID protocols. All competitions for the remainder of 2020 were canceled, including the IJRU World Championships.
Instead, athletes from across the country submitted videos of their routines, which were adjudicated by a virtual judging panel. Scores for the performances on those videos determined the final leaderboard positions and spots on the U.S. National Jump Rope Team.
The national team will now continue to train and prepare for the virtual IJRU World Championships, submitting videos of their routines. The World Championship series, featuring performance videos and final results, will be available for viewing in October.