Blanchard (right) wishes fellow trampolinist Alaina Williams good luck.
image linked from daylife.com
, born November 20th, 1989, comprises half of the US Trampoline team at this year's Olympics in Beijing. The former US Champion (2006) almost didn't make it: she had retired at the ripe old age of 17 due to complications with her coach and her gym. The Broussard, Louisiana native came out of retirement when she learned that the US had scored a slot in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games
(thanks to Brittany Dircks' performance at the 2007 Trampoline World Championships). Blanchard told the Houston Chronicle
that after eight months off the trampoline, it took her about a month to regain her skills. At Olympic Trials, the wildcard winner narrowly edged out Alaina Hebert, another Broussard gymnast and a close friend.