Even as a child, Karen Cockburn dreamed of going to the Olympics. Her parents, Colin and Patricia, have memories of Karen running around the house doing cartwheels and vaulting over couches.
Karen was first introduced to the trampoline as a training tool for gymnastics and diving. The adrenaline rush from learning new tricks and soaring through the air hooked Karen to the sport. After two years, she began competing in trampoline for Canada at the international level.
When trampoline became a full medal sport for the Summer Olympics in 2000, her childhood dream became a reality. Karen is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympic athletes with a bronze medal in Sydney 2000, a silver medal in Athens 2004 and a silver medal in Beijing 2008.
At the London 2012 Games, Karen completed three strong routines and finished in fourth place.
Although trampoline is an individual sport, Karen attributes much of her success to the team of people around her. The support from her parents and husband, Olympic medalist Mathieu Turgeon, provides her with the balance she needs to push forward. Her coach, David Ross, continues to help her be the best athlete she can be. The support she receives from her sponsors, Springfree Trampoline and CAN Fund, allow her to pursue her athletic endeavours. Karen is also active in her sport as she sits on Gymnastic Canada’s board of directors.
Beyond trampoline, Karen has a passion for cooking and is currently studying to become a holistic nutritionist. She stays active through Pilates, snowboarding and other sports.