When he competed in the sport of trampoline, it was not part of the Olympics. It didn’t become an Olympic event until it made its debut for both men and women during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. But Stuart Ransom has no regrets. “I love the sport of trampolining,” he said. “I never wanted to be a gymnast. I am a trampolinist.” He said the sport also allowed him to see the world. “I’ve been around the world 20 times,” he said.
These days, the only jumping Stuart Ransom does is hopping around his Olive Branch factory making sure orders for electrical control panels are filled. But flash back to the 1970’s and 1980’s, and Ransom was a high-flying world-class trampolinist. Before trampolining was an Olympic sport, Stuart Ransom was named in the Guinness World Records for winning the most U.S. National trampoline championships for men. In fact, he won 12 national titles. Today his job as president of Control Products Inc. keeps him jumping. “I had been disjointed from my comrades in the trampoline world for 25 years, and to know that they nominated me for the Hall of Fame is an honor,” he said.
Titles: Ransom competed in four World Trampoline Championships for the United States, winning the double mini title in 1978 and the synchronized trampoline crown with Mark Calderon in 1982. He also won four AAU national titles from 1975-78 and eight USAF national titles from 1979-82. Ransom is modest about his days as a trampoline champion. He keeps his medals — and there are several of them — in a box in the attic of his Southaven, Mississippi home. Before he started school, at the age of 4, Ransom, who grew up in Memphis, was a skilled athlete on the trampoline. His father, David Ransom, was his first coach after he brought the family a trampoline to their Whitehaven home. From there, Ransom and his older sister, Renee, who became a world trampoline champion at 13 in 1970, trained at Jim Yongue’s gym in Memphis. The gym is long closed. After competing and winning junior trampoline titles, Ransom won a scholarship to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana) in Lafayette. There, with help from his coach, Jeff Hennessy, Ransom took the sport of trampoline to a new level. “He was a mechanical genius,” said Hennessy, “He would tell me, ‘Coach, I am going to do so and so’ and he would just do it.” Education/Career: Ransom, who graduated from Southwestern with an electrical engineering degree, retired from the sport of trampoline in 1982. Today, he is president of Control Products Inc., where he runs the business along with his wife of 23 years, Kimberly Ransom. At 5-feet-9, Ransom is a little stockier than when he was soaring 30 feet in the air when he competed. “I also had more hair and a mustache,” Ransom said as he smiled at a picture of himself competing in the Ennia Gold Cup Championships in Holland in 1981.”Family: Wife-Kimberly and daughter-Abby. These days, the closest Ransom comes to the trampoline is watching his only child, 10-year old Abby, bounce on it. “She does it just for fun, and I’m letting her discover it for herself,” he said. “But if one day she said she wanted to compete, we’ll go for it. But that is her decision.”
Sources: THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL, Memphis, TN. Data also collected from public sources (Wikipedia). Photos collected from .
Sources: Jerry Wright author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005 (2nd Ed.) & .