Rebecca met Richard soon after he came to the United States. They were booked on the same show that would be touring for the next 2 years. Richard spoke no English at that time and Rebecca spoke no Spanish so they spent hours upon hours after shows, at whatever 24 hour diner, trying to communicate. Even though the communication was slim to none, they had a great time together. They fell in love quickly and decided that they wanted to stay together. For a few years they traveled, trying to book all the acts together. This became a problem so Rebecca retired her act and concentrated her attention solely on the Olate dog act. Richard now speaks English and Rebecca speaks Spanish!!
Rebecca’s parents joined the circus when she was 1 year old. Rebecca’s father, David Smith was a national gymnastics champion and a professor at Utah State University prior to that and her mother Jean, was a homemaker. There was a man from Los Angeles, California looking for gymnasts to start a flying trapeze act and David was a prime candidate. David and Jean were not really excited about their humdrum existence and decided to give it a try. After years of hard practicing and many performances they made quite a name for themselves. Rebecca from the age of 5 practiced and learned tricks and performed as well. Later Rebecca’s father built a cannon and changed careers. He became famous in the circus world for this. He holds the Guinness World record for the longest cannon shot in history. When Rebecca was 16 her father built her a cannon and she made that her career for 17 years.