The jump to national caliber competition has not come without a few bumps along the way for Sudbury Laurels tumbling sensation Connor MacDonald. As he prepared to depart to Montreal earlier this month, site of the Trampoline and Tumbling Tour 2019, the 14 year old grade nine student at Collège Notre-Dame addressed some of the challenges that he has noted along the way.
“The most difficult part is just knowing that you are in that national athlete pool, so you need to step up your game,” said MacDonald. “Obviously, the skills are going to get harder, but the pressure of just knowing that everyone is watching you – you just have to push through it.”
That said, MacDonald is clearly most in his element while he is sprinting down the runway, wowing audiences with a dazzling display of aerial acrobatics. “I would say that getting new passes for me has been big,” he stated. “I did two new passes at the last competition, six whips to a double tuck. I was so proud of myself.”
“And then I did another pass with a whip full ending with a double full,” added MacDonald. “The combination of those two skills in a pass is pretty remarkable for me. This year, we've really pushed six whips instead of just five.” Pushing his limits has not come without a price to be paid.
Nailing the final landing has been a somewhat hit and miss proposition, part of what is expected at this level. “I'm just going into this competition really focusing on getting all of my passes, landing on my feet, and just try and better my score,” said MacDonald.
“I think it's a combination of a little bit of nerves and some adrenaline, when you go out and push yourself.” MacDonald and his fellow competitors will be on the road again before the end of the month, heading to Kingston for the 3rd Ontario Cup of the T & T season at the Memorial Centre.