Gymnast Kaden Brown (USA) says he chose his sport because there is no limit. ”There is always room for improvement and always potential for bigger and better,” says Brown, who has just qualified in Tumbling for The World Games 2022. “My goal for 2022 was to make The World Games!” he says. ”Check! With that accomplished, I would like to make the final at this year’s World Games.” Kaden Brown is this week’s athlete Building up to BHM!
Kaden Brown started Gymnastics at the age of 10. “I was doing Taekwondo at a small training hall near my house. After getting my black belt, my interest in the sport started fading and I wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to. At that same time, I absolutely loved being upside down. I was always doing handstands and cartwheels everywhere I went,and I was even teaching myself flips off the sofa - which my parents didn’t love,” he laughs, and continues: “My parents mentioned about putting me into a Gymnastics class, and I was very hesitant at first because I thought it was a ‘girls only’ sport. After a little bit of convincing, I decided to try it out. The moment I walked into the gym I absolutely fell in love with Gymnastics, and still feel the same way today!”
Training for tumbling
“Most tumbling gymnasts don't train as long as an artistic gymnast would, because we only have 1 event,” Brown says. “I normally train 2½ hours a day, 4-5 times a week. My training consists of a 30-minute warmup, 1½ hours of tumbling and 30 minutes of conditioning. The tumbling portion changes everyday; varying with drills, non-twisting skills, twisting skills, passes, tumble track, etc. Outside of gymnastics training, I also do around 5 hours a week of additional weight training. Each training session in the gym is different from the last, and it's difficult to get bored with the sport. Gymnastics is always evolving, which creates new challenges and goals to achieve.”
With only a little over two months to go, there is a lot of training and preparation work for The World Games that needs to be done. ”Since I am in the middle of my competition season right now, I need to make sure I am pacing myself and not overdoing anything. I have a World Cup on May 27-29 in Rimini, Italy that I will be attending. This will be my only international competition before The World Games 2022, so It'll be a great competition to test out the new rules and see how other countries are reacting to them. I need to maintain a healthy body and keep up with recovery in order to avoid injury. Training will start to get more intense due to the fact that the number and difficulty of passes is increasing; however, I need to keep a positive mindset and enjoy the experience! This only happens every 4 years!”
Lots of opportunities at The World Games
Brown is excited about the opportunities that being at The World Games offers. “I expect everyone to come together (from every sporting discipline) and support one another. Since this is basically our ‘Olympics’, I'm expecting to see the world's best athletes and top-tier sporting performances. Since my usual competitions only consist of gymnastics athletes, I’m expecting to meet a lot of different types of athlete and learn about their sports. I'm excited to see the media coverage that The World Games has, and the publicity for this event!
At The World Games, Brown would love to watch the sports that he is not as familiar with. ”I have never heard of Korfball or Fistball, and didn't even know that Tug of War was an actual sport, so I would love to watch and learn more about these,” he says.
Asked if he was to compete in another sport of The World Games, what would it be, Brown replies:
”Just because I did Taekwondo when I was little, doesn't mean I remember any of it… so count me out of that! I also can't swim to save my life… so water sports are also out of the picture. Maybe Bowling?
”Gymnastics is the only sport I am doing,” says Brown. He is also a full-time student at the University of Utah, studying Health and Kinesiology. He will be graduating with his Bachelors in spring 2023, and plans on applying for the Masters of Athletic Training programme. He is also a recreational and competitive coach at Wasatch Trampoline and Tumbling (the gym he trains at) as well as an Exercise and Sport Science Fitness Instructor at his university.
“Tumbling is art”
“I honestly think of tumbling as art. The combination of speed, execution, difficulty, rhythm, and height is so fascinating to watch. Each athlete and tumbling pass is so unique, and nothing is the exact same. I also love the competitiveness of tumbling. Tumblers are constantly setting new marks and it's incredible watching the amazing things we can do! The community continues to push one another each and every day, while being so supportive of one another! The gymnastics community as a whole is also so supportive with one another, and the friendships you make within the sport are so special.”
The biggest impact on Kedan Brown has been his coach, Becky Brown. ”Obviously, she has helped me develop as a gymnast and has helped me achieve skills and goals that I thought I would never be able to do. Not only that, but she has really been a huge mentor for me in life. She has helped me through really hard times and I honestly don't think I would be here today without her. She has helped me tremendously inside and outside of the gym and truly has shaped who I am today.”
A few more questions for Kaden Brown:
What's your favourite food?
“My favorite food is parmesan crusted chicken with pasta! I also love chicken and rice.”
What skill do you find the hardest?
”A Full Out. It’s a double back flip with a full turn in the second flip. For some reason my brain just can’t comprehend how to do it and my body can’t wait that long in the flip to twist!”
What is your newest skill?
”Round off - Miller transitions have been my ‘new skill’ recently. A Miller isn’t a new skill for me, but working out of it in a pass is brand new, and something I’ll hopefully be using in competition at The World Games!”
What’s your favorite pass?
”My full in straight, triple back pike at the 2019 World Championships!”
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and over 100 countries will take part in The World Games.