Karen Cockburn, Olympic trampoline trailblazer, officially retires

Karen Cockburn was soaring and spinning high above trampolines in the sport’s lean years when money for training and travel came out of her own pocket.The 36-year-old had a dream of competing in the Olympics before trampoline was even added to the Games program.Cockburn took a chance — fingers crossed — when she chose trampoline over diving. She went on to become one of the world’s most decorated Olympic trampoline athletes and paved a path for a young Rosie McLennan to follow en route to becoming a two-time Olympic gold medallist.Read more:Penny Oleksiak ready to get back in the pool at world aquatic championshipsArticle Continued BelowPole vaulter Shawn Barber doesn’t think being gay is “a big deal”Cockburn’s career was celebrated during the national championships on Sunday in Oshawa as she officially announced her retirement. She talked about her pride in being the cornerstone of Canada’s team.“I always had this dream of going to the Olympics, and I remember my diving coach said ‘Well that’s not an Olympic sport, you shouldn’t quit diving to do that,’ ” said Cockburn, a Toronto native. “My parents told me to choose one, and I was like ‘Well that’s what I’m passionate about. Maybe it will get into the Olympics one day.’