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Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Ex-Olympic trampolinist Jaime Moore retires from sport

By Jon Wilkinson

Jaime Moore
Moore competed in top British and European trampolining for 12 years

Northampton-born Jaime Moore was one of the trail-blazers for the sport of trampolining.

She won the Great British place for the 2000 Sydney Olympics - the first time the event had been included.

Moore competed there, and later won another Great British place for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, where she was the reserve.

She has retired, aged 30, just two years before the 2012 Olympics in London, in order to concentrate on coaching.

But this all lay in an unimagined future when the five-year-old Moore attended a recreational trampolining programme on holiday. She was spotted by the coach of the Northamptonshire Trampoline Gymnastics Academy, Tracy Whittaker-Smith.

"I saw her training, and I said to her that she could be good. It started by chance," says Whittaker-Smith, who went on to coach her for 20 years.

It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, that Moore is keen to recognise.

"It's been down to her I've achieved so much," Moore says.

"I couldn't have done it without her."

With a background in artistic gymnastics, the young Moore quickly impressed at the new discipline.

I feel very proud of what we achieved together. It's been an exciting journey

Jaime Moore's coach, Tracy Whittaker-Smith

"I've loved it ever since I started doing it," she said.

"It's the closest you can get to flying without wings. I'm an adrenaline junkie anyway, so I get a buzz from it."

She came to prominence in 1994, aged 14, winning the synchronised competition at the World Age Games and finishing second at the European Youth Championships. She would do even better in 1996, winning individual and team events at the Championships.

"That was unexpected," says Whittaker-Smith.

"At that time, we didn't realise how good she was. But to make the step from the level she was at to becoming an Olympian, that was amazing."

In 1999, Moore was British champion and finished ninth at the World Championships in South Africa. It won her, and Great British, the first place at the following year's Sydney Olympics.

"It was a whole new world for trampolining," adds Whittaker-Smith.

The competition itself was disappointing - Moore finished 12th. Injuries would prevent her from competing in Athens, and there was more frustration in 2008.

Having again won a place for Great Britain at Beijing, Jaime finished below Claire Wright at the European Championships and travelled to China as the reserve.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to compete because that's what I love doing," Moore said at the time.

She continued to take part in top level competitions, including finals of the British and European Championships, until 2008. Her last competition was the World Championships in Russia, in November 2009.

Jaime Moore
Moore will concentrate on coaching the next generation of trampolinists

"I've been ready for retirement for about a year, but when you're heavily involved in sport, it's difficult to let go," said Moore.

"I do feel proud of myself though, and I'm ready for a new chapter, coaching and helping kids."

And Moore says she doesn't regret leaving the sport, despite the chance to compete at the Olympics in London, 2012.

"I'm always going to want to go to anther Olympics, especially in my home country.

"But I don't want to give just 80%, and I don't want to do something half-hearted."

"She's got a great personality, she's hard working, and she's been fully committed over 20 years," says coach Whittaker-Smith.

"I feel very proud of what we achieved together. It's been an exciting journey."

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see also
Gymnastics results
23 Aug 05 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics on the BBC
05 Oct 11 |  Gymnastics
Get involved in gymnastics
23 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics
Jaime hopes to spring a surprise
25 Aug 00 |  Gymnastics
Moore heads to Beijing as reserve
08 May 08 |  Gymnastics
Trampoline bounces into Olympic picture
09 Aug 00 |  Gymnastics

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