A trip to the circus in the 1930s inspired George Nissen to create
the modern trampoline, an invention that eventually would lead to
countless children and others doing back flips and tricks for fun and
sport on the springy apparatus.

More than half a century later, Mr. Nissen would be successful in
getting the new sport into the Olympics after traveling around the world
introducing the trampoline to Africa and
Egypt, Russia and other countries. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/apr/26/ex-gymnastics-champ-created-modern-trampoline/