Despite being a teenager, the Californian Trampoline athlete Ruben Padilla is now chasing the results of Mikhail Zalomin (RUS), the greatest gymnast ever seen in Double Mini Trampoline. At the recent World Championships in December 2019, 18-year-old Padilla equalled Zalomin's qualifying score, which is virtually unprecedented, and according to the experts, he would have even had the chance to come away with two gold medals rather than the three silvers he eventually won. He also has a chance of going to the 2020 Olympic Games in the individual Trampoline competition, as he was the second best American in the team Final.
More than deservedly, he is our Athlete of the Month for January 2020!
At the World Championships in 2018, then 17-year-old Ruben Padilla said that he felt Mikhail Zalomin was "unbeatable", despite taking home the silver medal behind the great champion.
After equalling Zalomin’s result in the qualifiers in 2019, Padilla was amazed: “It's insane,” he said: “I don't know how to describe it. I didn't know I would be able to do it ever really. I remember watching him way back when I first started competing at World Age Group Competitions and I was just watching his videos and being amazed by what he can do and how he performs. This time around, I do feel like I just showed that I am definitely getting closer, but we'll see.”
Padilla began with gymnastics at the age of 5. His mother enrolled him in a gymnastics class because he always used furniture as gym equipment when he was a child. Other hobbies include travelling, meeting new people, learning about different cultures, reading, swimming, playing video games, listening to music, hiking, gym training and spending time with his family. The incredibly energetic Padilla also volunteers at a non-profit organisation for several hours in a week, helping his mother in projects and activities for the special needs children that she works with.
Ruben Padilla will receive The World Games Athlete of the Month diploma as well as a branded gift from the Official Sponsor of Athlete of the Month, Protective Life.
Ruben Padilla's international achievements:
- 2019 World double mini, double mini team and team all-around silver medallist
- 2019 Pan American Games trampoline bronze medallist
- 2019 U.S. double mini champion
- 2018 World double mini silver medallist
- 2018 U.S. double mini silver medallist and synchro bronze medallist
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The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.