WEBB CITY, Mo. — It’s a big weekend for a Webb City student-athlete. Not a football player; rather, an aficionado on the trampoline. Stuart Price has the story of world-class athlete Emma Cox.
She may not be having turkey this holiday weekend, but she’s not far from it, the country of Turkey that is. This weekend, Webb City High School Freshman Emma Cox is representing her country in the 2021 Trampoline World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in the 13 and 14 year old tumbling competition.
“I am beyond excited, I would have never thought I would have ever been able to get this opportunity to travel the world and do what I love,” said Emma Cox, Trampoline Team USA.
There’s only one down side to this trip of a lifetime, she’ll have to take it without her family and coach. The same travel restrictions that were in place during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, are still in effect in this competition, with no spectators. But her mom Ashley says her whole family will get to watch the event on television and will be with her in spirit.
“It’s really hard to put into words how excited we are because she’s worked for this for nine years, that’s a long time, a lot of sacrifice and dedication and to just watch her in her element doing what she loves, it’s pretty overwhelming and pretty amazing,” said Ashley Cox, Emma’s Mom.
Those same restrictions will prevent her coach, Teddy Johnson, co-owner and operator of the Flip Shop in Joplin, from going with her. Cox is the second athlete he’s coached in his 45 year career to make it to this level. He says her determination and power helped get her to where she is today.
“And she’s one of the strongest girls in the area, on tumbling and everything, even the trampoline, she won national trampoline this year also, but her floors are her strongest event for her,” said Ted Johnson, Emma’s Coach, Flip Shop Owner.
“She started in the competitive cheer leading program here, and when she was at practice, she was watching the big kids flipping around on the floor and she said mom I want to do that, and so we went as a spectator to one of the competition in Kansas City and said, yep, I want to do it,” said Ashley Cox.
“I started whenever I was younger and loved it, and it’s just my passion… I get to see my friends from all over the country and they push me to do my best and I build good relationships with others and just get to pour my heart out on the floor, it’s amazing,” said Emma Cox.