Famous ArtSports circus star dies in fall

       An internationally known Colorado Springs acrobat and circus performer who'd trained at the ArtSports gym for 10 years died Dec. 5 after a fall he suffered the day before while practicing on the trampoline.

Bo Frese seems to be floating high in the air here - Mike Zapp said it's his favorite photo of him.
Courtesy of Mike Zapp

       Services for Bo Frese, 37, are scheduled Thursday, Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Divine Redeemer Church, 927 N. Logan Ave. He leaves his parents, Joseph and Sara, and brother Casey.
       “He was spectacular, an incredible athlete, definitely a pro,” fondly recalled Mike Zapp, owner of the Holland Park facility. “He never saw a piece of apparatus he didn't like.”
       He'd known Frese since about 1987, when he was starting to develop as a youth gymnast. “He started training with me pretty hard around 2000,” Zapp said. “He got better and better and better.”
       Frese had been practicing on an ArtSports trampoline Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4, when the gym was full of people, many of whom were attending birthday parties and clapping in appreciation of the stunts he was performing. But something went wrong on a spinning maneuver 30 feet in the air, one he'd done “thousands of times,” Zapp said. Intending to land in the 25-by-50-foot foam next to the trampoline, he came down instead by the pit's edge, just catching the back of his neck on the side. The impact was too much, despite the pads. “If he had been over another six inches, we wouldn't be having this conversation,” Zapp said.
       He said Frese had established himself as a solo-act circus performer who only had to work four months out of the year. The rest of the time he lived in Colorado Springs and trained at ArtSports. Much of his circus work was in Europe. In mid-November, when two ArtSports teen gymnasts were competing at the World Age Group championships in France, Frese came over from Belgium to visit them.
       In Frese's honor, Zapp said the annual “ArtSports Invitational” event in March will be renamed the “Bo Frese Invitational.”
       ArtSports is also remembering the athlete through the Bo Frese Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made to the fund by calling ArtSports at 531-5867 or sending a check to ArtSports' nonprofit, entity Colorado Youth Sports Organization (CYSO) - CYSO/Bo Frese, at 780 Vondelpark Drive, Colorado Springs 80907.

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