UCF hosts World Jump Rope Championship

4-day competition to feature athletes from 14 countries

ORLANDO, Fla. - The competition has begun as hundreds of jump ropers take over the UCF Arena to compete in the World Jump Rope Championship.

The best jump ropers from around the world get the chance to show off their amazing skills while competing four days in everything from speed events to freestyle.

Shaun Hamilton is chairman of the event and has competed in the sport for more than 20 years himself.

"We have a saying in jump rope: What most folks use as punishment, we do on an everyday basis," Hamilton said.

He said Friday's events are all about speed.

"It's like a track meet, you're going to see some of the fastest folks in the entire world moving that jump rope almost seven to eight jumps a second."

More than 450 athletes from 14 countries are participating, ranging from age 7 to 55.

Abby Wannamaker, 9, has been jumping rope for three years, but is competing this weekend for the first time.

"My purpose of being here is just to have fun," Wannamaker said. "I do it because it's really fun and its also a good way to stay physical and stay healthy."

Debbie Turner is competing at age 54. She's a veteran who's competed for several years.

"The first year I started jumping I dropped my cholesterol 30 points. You're never too old to stay fit."

The jump ropers hope showcasing their talents in Central Floria will draw new fans to the sport.

"Orlando is a global city; folks are attracted to Orlando, so we're happy to be on this campus to show them one of the best sports in the world," Hamilton said.

On Monday, the best of the best jump ropers will compete for an overall winner.

You can still buy tickets; they're $5 each.

Tickets can be purchased on competition days at the UCF Arena or online at www.worldjumprope.org

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