In Las Vegas Nevada, George Nissen celebrated his eightieth birthday by doing a handstand on a table. Flash back to 1926, when a much younger George discovered his skill as a tumbler. He was the star of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, known as a gifted young gymnast and diver. Local newspapers dubbed him “one of the best fancy divers in the state,” but it wasn’t enough. George eventually introduced the world to something even more spectacular: the trampoline.
My Father’s Dream of an Olympic Trampoline is the first-hand account of George Nissen’s path to immortality, written by his daughter Dagmar. George was not afraid to step outside the box and take chances. He was an inventor with over a hundred patents, but he was also a dedicated husband, father, and family man. In 2000, he saw his dream became a reality when competitive trampolining was announced as an Olympic event.
Not only was George’s invention fun, but it became a health craze, incorporating strength, stamina, balance, coordination, and rhythm. George became a worldwide ambassador of “bouncing.” Plus, it couldn’t be denied: no one felt depressed while jumping on a trampoline!
My Father’s Dream of an Olympic Trampoline will entertain and inspire as George Nissen’s memory lives on thanks to an invention that has brought smiles to the faces of the world.
Who Made That Trampoline?
By PAGAN KENNEDY Published: September 28, 2012 The New York Times
In 1960, George Nissen rented a kangaroo named Victoria from an animal-supply outfit on Long Island so that he could train her to hop on a trampoline he set up in Central Park. After a week of waltzing with Victoria, clasping her front paws as he taught her to bounce in time with him, ... (read more).
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Dagmar Nissen Munn
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The Amazing Life Story of the Man who Invented the Trampoline!