|Born:||November 20, 1989|
|Residence:||Colorado Springs, CO|
Bounding to Beijing
Blanchard earned her trip to China by edging friend Alaina Hebert in the U.S. trampoline Olympic selection points system. Blanchard and Hebert grew up a few miles apart in Broussard, La. (pop: 6,000) just outside of Lafayette and carpooled to practice during their early years in the sport. Fellow Olympic team member Chris Estrada trained with Blanchard before all three moved to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Taking a break
The 2006 U.S. champion, Blanchard retired in 2007. She told the Houston Chronicle: "I had some complications with the gym and the coach. I just had to get away from it all." During her eight-month break she worked out with her brother, a body builder, but didn't bounce on a trampoline at all. But once the U.S. secured a wildcard Olympic spot, Blanchard reconsidered her retirement: "When I walked away, I never really thought of the Olympics as a possibility." After a rough first day back, Blanchard said that it took her about a month to relearn most of her skills.
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