Roughly a year ago is when I first caught up with Nick Woodard, of the Electrick Jumpers, to chat about Halftime Entertainment. Well, a lot can happen in a year and in Nick's case, a WHOLE LOT can happen. I recently slowed Nick down long enough to chat Halftime Entertainment again. Here are the highlights of my discussion with the world champion jumper:
TA: It's been a pretty incredible year for you and for the Electrick Jumpers, can you start by highlighting some of your major accomplishments in the past year?
NW: Over the last year, we've won numerous awards from all around the world. At World Jump Rope 2015 in Paris, we placed 1st in the Double Dutch Triad, we were Grand World Champions in Double Dutch Pairs Freestyle and Single Rope Pairs Freestyle. We also had 1st and 3rd place Grand World finishes in Single Rope Freestyle in Paris. And lastly, we placed 1st in a Fusion competition in Shanghai, China.
TA: Tell me a little about what WJR15 is and what you were able to accomplish there.
NW: WJR15 stands for World Jump Rope 2015 and it's an international competition. The organization, World Jump Rope Federation, was founded 6 years ago and began hosting international competitions with the goal of unifying the sport of jump rope. The organization has built a brand and a model that invites jumpers from all over the world to come together and compete at the highest level. Their goal of unifying jump rope athletes and enthusiasts from across the globe is showing progress more and more each year.
TA: Describe your reaction to your WJR15 performance going viral after it was highlighted by major sports media outlets like SportsNation and Bleacher Report?
NW: It was truly an honor to be a part of SportsNation and Bleacher Report. I had no idea that my routine would be picked up like that. There was a lot of added publicity for myself, and more importantly, World Jump Rope events, which was great.
TA: What are your goals for the sport of Jump Rope in the next 5 to 10 years?
NW: Our goal for the sport is to start programs and teams in more schools. Right now, the recreational activity happens every year through the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart events. We want to make sure that just like any other sport, jump rope is one that kids around the world can choose and then compete with other schools.
TA: Tell me about your role in teaching the next generation of jumpers.
NW: We strive to ensure the next generation of jumpers is better than we are. Our sport is all about sharing and caring. We had the generation before us to help us get to where we are now. It's our job to do the same and make sure the next generation of jumpers is prepared to lead when they get older.
TA: You've recently made an addition to your halftime performance, can you tell us a little about that?
NW: Our new addition to our show includes LED ropes. These ropes bring a new aspect to the show because once the lights go out the main focus is shifted to the ropes themselves and the unique movements they make versus our bodies. It's a really unique and exciting component of the show that requires us as performers to be precise and technically flawless.