Latest Ryman news

Maddie Davidson tells village residents Olympics will be flipping fun

Written by Alan Wood
on June 13, 2024

Maddie Davidson made history by being the first female trampolinist to represent New Zealand at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, held in 2021. Last week she wowed the residents of Kevin Hickman Village as she talked through some of her preparation ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics.

It is only six weeks until Maddie departs and two months until she jumps onto the trampoline in Paris. She told the Kevin Hickman residents she has her heart set on competing to her best level, while showing off her past international performances.

Maddie talked to a full room of residents, showing off photos and videos of her dating back to when she was a 6-year-old, including one from her performing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “It’s absolutely my pleasure to be here on a crisp Christchurch morning, especially when I’ve rocked up in my t-shirt,” she joked.

Maddie was able to share some of the intensity of the sport, in which routines take just 30 seconds. She says gaining height, with athletes regularly bouncing over eight metres in the air, and staying centred on the mat are just two of the measurables that sees a trampolinist ranked in points.

“In a voluntary routine you can do anything that you like. And these tend to be bigger flips, so you’ll see triple flips and double flips, lots of twists and all those good things that we get to do...

“It’s quite difficult on the body, so when we land on the trampoline they say it’s about 10-12 times your bodyweight, every time you land,” she says.

IMG_6389 large

The 25-year-old is regularly training six hours a day in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where 16 trampolinists from around the world will gather to compete. Ballet classes also keep her on point and help provide some of her “elegance in the air,” she says.

Her parents Craig and Gaylene, and older brother Lewis, will travel to Paris to encourage her. “I’m really, really pumped to be going to a second Olympic Games with The New Zealand Team,” she says.

The residents at Kevin Hickman will certainly be showing their support when she appears in the games within the French capital on August 2nd. She, and another Kiwi competitor Dylan Schmidt, will partake in ‘individual’ trampolining events but also be able to spend some time together after they exit the Olympic Village.

Maddie was asked by Kevin Hickman Village Manager Liz Hampton about her and Dylan competing together, she shared that she and Dylan have been a romantic item for some time. She says she will have fingers crossed that Dylan can nail a silver or gold medal, while she thinks any spot in the top eight by herself will be a great result.

Trampolining made its first appearance at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and Maddie says she started in the sport in 2006 after being encouraged by a family friend. In the women’s event, competitors from China and Great Britain are where her strongest competitors usually come from.

Maddie says she has appeared before audiences of both young, at primary schools, and old, at villages like Kevin Hickman and there are always good connections to be made.

She has enjoyed a great relationship with her own grandma Leona Fibbes, particularly within the bounds of a busy family life. Both of her parents were influential in terms of their athleticism, with her father remaining a keen footballer (having previously represented Otago) and her mother having been a dancer.

KHI Maddie Davidson1

Trampolining outscored her attempts at sports like netball where her lack of height did not do her any favours, though she admits a shaky start. “(But) I loved learning, I loved flipping, and I loved bouncing, and Mum and Dad loved it because I was tired at the end of the day. So, it was win, win for everyone,” I think.”  

Liz Hampton says both the residents and the village team will look forward with real anticipation: “We’re all very excited. We’ll be following you with interest.” Residents were thrilled with the chance to get some selfies with Maddie, and are now looking forward to the live action, from Paris, where they promise they too will be bouncing with joy.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

You may also like: