Herriman gymnast Kaden Brown returns from 2019 World Tumbling Championships with three medals
Jan 14, 2020 09:10AM
By Mark Jackson
Kaden Brown, on the right, displays his bronze medal on the podium. Photo retrieved from the USA Gymnastics Twitter account
By Mark Jackson | [email protected]
US Tumbling National Champion, Herriman’s own Kaden Brown, won a bronze medal in individual competition at the 2019 Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships in Tokyo.
Brown’s solo win marks the first time a male athlete from the United States has won a medal in individual competition in the Trampoline and Tumbling World Championships in 23 years.
Despite the fact that the US Men’s team was not expected to medal in the team competition, Kaden Brown made a significant pass to secure the bronze.
During the team competition, two of Brown’s teammates, Alexander Renkert and Haydn Fitzgerald, made their passes first. Although Renkert and Fitzgerald’s attempts were clean and scored well, the US team could not reach the podium unless Brown scored a 39.900 -- essentially a flawless pass (the highest any other athlete would achieve during the event was a 39.400).
Brown says he felt no pressure when he stepped onto the mats, despite the odds being stacked against him and his team. Before the judges had even determined the score, his team was already ecstatic; they knew Brown’s pass had been special.
When the score appeared on the board, it was exactly what the team needed to achieve the bronze medal: a 39.900.
Although Brown has had an exciting year, becoming Trampoline and Tumbling National Champion in the United States and winning several prestigious tournaments, he is most proud of his pass in the World Championship team event: “Seeing my teammates and how exciting it was for them — that’s something I’ll hold onto forever,” he says.
In the Trampoline and Tumbling World Championship one year ago, Brown managed to score the highest pass of any athlete, despite finishing 5th -- not enough for a medal.
However, for the first time, he began to see himself as a truly elite athlete: “I asked him, do you see now that you can be a world champion? And he said, ‘I believe it,’” says Becky Brown, Kaden’s coach, who has trained him since he was a child.
That’s not to say Kaden Brown has never been ambitious: “From the time he was 12, he set out to win a world championship,” she says.
Kaden Brown has represented Herriman in tumbling since he began training and competing, reaching nationals at the age of 12 with Black Diamond Gymnastics. His parents, Dustin and Mercede Brown, first enrolled him in classes because, he says, “I was literally scaling the walls.”
Kaden Brown moved to Wasatch Trampoline and Tumbling in Herriman in 2013, where he has also taught since 2016. His classes are in high demand and regularly have waitlists.
Thanks to his performance in the 2019 World Championships, Kaden Brown will likely represent the United States in the World Cup Gymnastics in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2020.
He is also a leading contender to be the United States’ only male gymnast to compete in the 2021 World Games in Birmingham Alabama. “The 2021 World Games have been my goal ever since I started the sport,” he says. He will compete for the spot after a busy year in 2020.