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15-year-old Nebraska flipper Nealy Brummond. (Instagram/Nealy Brummond)
15-year-old Nebraska flipper Nealy Brummond. (Instagram/Nealy Brummond)

Flipping out

‘Showing up and throwing down’: Teenage girls defy expectations — and gravity — in the sport of flipping

By WITW Staff on May 17, 2019

A small but growing number of women and girls are breaking into the male-dominated world of flipping, in which athletes compete over who can perform the most dramatic and elaborate flips and rotations midair — jumping from pillars and ledges, or on trampolines in the backyard.

Sophie Tillis, a 14-year-old former gymnast, told The New York Times that she fell in love with extreme flipping on trampolines, known as Gtramp, and also with elaborate flipping from other surfaces, known as parkour. On Instagram, she shares videos of her exploits with thousands of followers.

“I think some girls are afraid of what the boys might think or say,” said Tillis, acknowledging that there are few other girls who share her interest in the sport.

Luci Romberg, another former gymnast, became famous in the world of parkour in 2009 when she became the first woman to compete in the Red Bull Art of Motion competition. At the time, she was one of just a few women publicly competing in the sport at a high level. But the new generation of runners and flippers, she says, is more gender-diverse than ever.

“It’s awesome how many girls are showing up and throwing down now,” said Romberg. “These young girls I see at competitions and on social media are absolutely mind blowing. They train so hard and are so passionate about the sport.”

“The trampoline community doesn’t really pay much attention to the girls,”15-year-old Nealy Brummond told the Times. She would love to see a girl be sponsored by one of the major trampoline brands that sponsor dozens of boys. “I want to make an effect on the community and show girls that gymnastics isn’t the only option.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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