WEG: Interview with Cassidy and Kimberly Palmer

Hi everyone! This week I’ve been going after people to interview and try to get an inside look on what happenned during last week’s World Equestrian Games in Caen, Normandy. If you don’t recall what I am talking about, just check out this page that concentrates all our results and highlights for the competition.  

Our first interview is with two girls that had a wonderful WEG. Actually, as you will read shortly, they had a wonderful year so far.

Cassidy and Kimberly Palmer performed wonderfully to the sound of Frozen and came in 5th place in the end of the competition.

The following questions were sent by a few of our readers, others came from me, Celina.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourselves, where did you come from and where do you wanna go? It’s not always we get the opportunity to learn about American vaulters like we have now.

Cassidy: We live and grew up in a small town in California called Half Moon Bay. My mom introduced vaulting to us when we were just 5 years old. After a few years of vaulting we found out what the world equestrian games was! Our coach would show us videos of the best vaulters! And from then on I wanted to one day compete at WEG. Kim and I both have been on a few teams but none have qualified for worlds or WEG. We both use to do gymnastics and competed up to levels 8 and 9.

2.Who are you inspirations in vaulting?

Cassidy: In everyday life it’s defiantly our amazing mother! She is our inspiration for many things inside and outside of vaulting. And after competing at all the CVI’s and world cups this past year Jacques Ferrari, Nicolas Andreini, and Joanne Eccles are defiantly an inspiration.

3.What you did during the World Equestrian Games was simply amazing, you performed two very good freestyles. How was your route to the WEGs?

 Cassidy: Thanks so much! So we had selection trials in the USA and at most of them we did clean routines. At one of them we had a fall. That was very disappointing. And we had to work so hard the next few weeks before the next trial. At most of the trials our routine was the same with little changes here and there. Our theme was Great Gadsby at all the world cups and selection trials. Then before Aachen we changed the theme and the routine. It didn’t go as well as we hoped. So right when we got home from Aachen we thought we have to do something great and memorable. So we came up with Frozen! We worked very hard making up a new freestyle and coming up with moves no one has seen before. Kim and I are very happy how it turned out

4.What were the biggest sacrifices you had to make to get to the WEGs? Did you ever doubt yourselves?

Cassidy: We took this year off of school so we could just focus on vaulting. Yes we defiantly doubted our selfs more than once. If things aren’t working or we can’t make it though our routine or competition are coming up and we keep falling. But every time you doubt yourself you have to keep your head held high and think positive!

5.How were those days of competition for you? What did you feel and what did you do on that evening from Thursday to Friday? It must have been kind of a tense night with a lot going on.

Cassidy: The competition was amazing! It was kinda difficult how we had to wait until Thursday night to compete though. I just wanted to compete right at the beginning of the week. After competing Thursday Kim and I just went back to the hotel still with tons of adrenalin from being in the arena. We just talked about how we could make it better the next day and what we had to focus on. Then got a good night of sleep!

6.Do you talk a lot when you are on the horse? What is it like to vault with your sister? Do you fight a lot?

Kimberly: During practice we tend to talk on the horse, whether we’re counting or communicating in other ways. Communication is everything it keeps the routine flowing. I absolutely love vaulting with Cassidy, we just get each other. We yell, well.. I yell when something doesn’t work or we fall off but I get over it in a second and try it again.

7.How is vaulting going in the USA? You have been progressively getting more medals and prizes, how do you evaluate the growth of the sport?

Kimberly: I don’t really feel vaulting is growing in the US, I think people just don’t know about it.

Celina: You really don’t think so? From the outside I had the impression it was growing because you had so many new vaulters at the WEG this year…

Kimberly: Yeah it is growing some just not as much as I would like it to!

8.In Germany we have been seeing more and more vaulters trading clubs, from small ones to clubs with more tradition. Do you see this movement in the USA as well?

Kimberly: There are some new clubs but very small ones. California has the most vaulters.

9.This was the first time Pas des Deux was ever performed on a WEG, but we had many competitors and were able to see great vaulting and history on the making. What do you think are the trends in this category, what can we expect to see in the future? Why do you think pas des deux is such a big hit now?

Kimberly: Pas de deux is such a big hit because of the relationship between the two vaulters on the horse. It’s also much more difficult for one person to lift the other without a third base. And there are no boring compulsories which is a huge plus in my opinion. It’s hard to imagine what to expect in the future, but I’m sure the moves will become more difficult and unique.

10. What would you say for two people who would like to start a pas des deux today? What skills should they focus on developing?

Kimberly: First of all get used to sharing the tiny amount of space you have on that pad with your partner. Be mentally and physically prepared before you take your moves to the horse. And work together, you will be capable of anything if you really focus and put your mind to it.

11. How is your training routine? How does vaulting fit on your everyday lives?

Kimberly: During the trials and before WEG we were vaulting 6 days a week and cross training every day. We ran through our routine multiple times on the horse and barrel each practice. We ran and strength trained everyday. We practiced our lifts on the ground over and over again. Cassidy and I took a year off of school, so we arranged our days around vaulting

Celina: Was it a lot of competition during the trials?

Cassidy: We had 6 selections trials. And at the beginning there were 6 pas de deux trying for the two spots to compete at WEG

12.So when did you had the idea to do a pas des deux? Was that natural to you, because you always practiced together, or was it like a big insight that led you to the idea?

Cassidy: We started pas de deux right when the rule changed from being boy, girl to girl girl. We didn’t have enough people to put a team together so we started competing in pas de deux

cebelotti

I am a 26 years old psychologist from Brazil, although I have graduated in psychology I work with media and communications, with a focus on data analysis. I am currently heading towards a master's degree at the London School of Economics (LSE). I am not vaulting anymore, but I did for over 10 years. As it very often happens in our sport, I never really left, I taught at a social project for a few years and have been working on VN since 2014.

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