Jumpers Flock to Bloomer for Rope Jumping Competition

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In Bloomer, jumping rope is more than a playground game, it's serious competition and a piece of city history.

That's because Bloomer is recognized as the home of the first rope jumping competition in 1960 and the city that calls itself the Rope Jumping Capital has been jumping ever since.

They range in age from kindergartners to adults, but here in Bloomer they all share one thing in common the love of a sport, many try but few master.

"It was a big part of my life as well as a lot of these kids right here," Paul Morning the All-time Bloomer Jump Rope Champion said. His record is 72 jumps in ten seconds, a record that's stood since 1979. But Morning says he hopes this year, some quick footed youngster will take it away.

"We have a jumper here today who has jumped 67 times in his timings and he's a very fast little guy," Morning said.

Each jumper gets 10 seconds, a uniform hemp rope and the chance to de-throne the jump rope king.

"There are some kids, the smaller kids that can get into the 50's and they get better and better, " competition counter Mark Dachel said.

Kids like Lexi Iverson, a first time competitor who says the competition begins on a smaller level.

"First you compete at your school and then if you get a high number of jumps then you come to Bloomer," she said.

To win here, Morning says it takes two things, speed and accuracy.

"You can be very fast, a lot of these kids are, but if you miss when your jumping very fast you will lose a lot of jumps," he said.

And like any sport lots of preparation.

"It takes a lot of practice," Iverson said.

Practice she's happy to do, to keeping her rope turning and this city's tradition alive.

The current world record is a staggering 128 jumps in ten seconds and was set at a British competition in 1982. But, you don't have to jump that fast to enjoy the sport. Morning says jumping rope can increase your speed, endurance, agility and coordination.