USA Gymnastics, the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States, conducts an annual talent opportunity program to identify young athletes with the ability to excel in the sport of trampoline and tumbling. Through a series of strength, flexibility, fitness, speed and skills testing, USA Gymnastics identifies 40 male and female athletes to make up the JumpStart National Team each year.
Padilla trains 20 hours per week at Four Stars Gymnastics Academy in Antioch under the tutelage of Nakayama. “Ruben is a dedicated and hard working athlete,” said Nakayama. “He’s very focused, and it’s great that he’s being recognized as one of the top athletes for his age group in the country.”
For his part, Ruben emphasized that “as a National Team member, I have the responsibility to work hard and represent our nation.”
According to Ann Sims, senior director of the USA Gymnastics Trampoline & Tumbling Program, “This program showcases the future stars of trampoline in America. The kids you see today at National Camp will be fighting for spots on the Olympic teams of tomorrow.”
Four Stars Gymnastics Academy, 1799 Vineyard Drive in Antioch, is owned and operated by Monique Williams-Duenas. For more information on the academy, call 925-778-8650. For more information about the JumpStart Program, visit www.usa-gymnastics.org/tt.